Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. While there isn’t currently a cure for AMD, there are things you can do to slow the progression.
Read on for important information on the condition and expert advice for reducing your risk.
Did you know that AMD affects more than 1 in 5 adults over 65?
AMD is a progressive eye condition that damages the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision, causing blurriness and potential loss of central vision. Vision loss can affect your ability to care for yourself, partake in day-to-day activities or see the moments that matter most in the lives of those you love. Many people do not realize that they are at risk of blindness from AMD until it is too late.
Help Reduce Your Risk for AMD Progression
There is no cure for AMD, and the exact causes are unknown. If you have been diagnosed with AMD, take action now to help slow the progression of vision loss with this advice from Michael Cooney, MD, a New York City-based retina specialist and lead investigator in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2).
Just as smoking is damaging to your body, cigarette smoke can also damage your vision by harming your retina and reducing blood flow to vital areas in the eye. Quitting smoking can be quite challenging. We recommend talking to your doctor, enlisting the support of loved ones and visiting www.smokefree.gov.
Eat a balanced diet
A diet high in saturated fats can lead to fatty deposits in your eye. You may be able to slow the progression of AMD by eating a balanced diet low in saturated fats and rich in fruits and vegetables especially dark, leafy greens.
Protect your eyes from UV Rays
Too much exposure to UV rays can speed up the progression of AMD. Protect your eyes from UV rays by confirming that your sunglasses have adequate UVA and UVB protection. Also, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and spending less time outside during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest.
Exercise and overall good health is proven to help reduce the risk of progression of AMD. Get 30 minutes of exercise, such as brisk walking, light jogging or biking, at least 3 days a week. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Consider an AREDS 2 formula supplement
The National Eye Institute (NEI) recommends an AREDS 2 formula supplement that is backed by 15 years of clinical studies and has been proven to help reduce the risk of AMD progression in people with moderate to advanced AMD. It is important to know that standard multivitamins or other eye vitamins typically do not contain the same levels of clinically proven nutrients. Ask your doctor if an AREDS 2 formula supplement is right for you.
You are not alone and there is something you can do, starting today. Schedule your annual eye exam and ask your doctor if an AREDS 2 Formula supplement is right for you.
Because your eyes are everything.
Michael Cooney, MD, a New York City-based retina specialist and lead investigator in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2)