Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among people 50+. In honor of February being Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, let’s shed some light on this condition, and how you might be able to slow its progression.
To put it simply, AMD causes damage to your macula, the part of your eye responsible for providing sharp, central vision. This middle part of the eye is the area that allows us to see objects straight ahead of us. In some people, AMD can advance slowly and vision loss may not occur for a long time. For these people, detecting it can be more challenging since the signs and symptoms are less obvious. In others, the disease progresses more quickly and can lead to vision loss in one or both eyes. While AMD alone does not lead to complete blindness, it can still significantly interfere with simple, everyday tasks and can be dangerous, especially for activities such as driving, cooking or operating machinery or equipment.
It’s important to recognize that there are certain risks factors including smoking, family history and genetics, as well as race (African American and Hispanic/Latino, specifically) that put certain people at higher risk for developing this disease.
The big question, though: are there lifestyle changes that could help prevent the disease? The short answer is, yes. The following are ways you can keep your eyes as healthy as possible:
· Incorporate lots of leafy green vegetables and fish into your diet.
· Exercise regularly.
· Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels within normal limits.
· Avoid smoking at all costs.
In all cases, it’s important to continue to schedule regular check-ups with your ophthalmologist to ensure they find any potential issues--- so that you can take action.
Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes geared to the health and vitality of older adults. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit forhealthandliving.com/ivhpevents
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan