5 Proven Ways to Prevent Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is the advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although it only affects about 10 percent of those who are diagnosed with AMD, it is the cause of 90 percent of all vision loss due to macular degeneration. With wet AMD, the macula (in the center of the retina) swells or thickens so much that it ruptures. The oxygen flow to the retina stops and the body responds by creating abnormal blood vessels.
These blood vessels then start growing through the macula, lifting up the retina and causing the eye to be visually impaired. There is currently no cure for wet AMD, but there are ways to prevent rapid progression and there are current treatments. Each of the following should be used by anyone with macular degeneration, whether they have the dry or wet form of the disease.
How Wet Macular Degeneration Occurs
There are several uncontrollable factors involved in getting AMD such as family history, gender, ethnicity, and age. There are also factors, such as one's lifestyle, which can be changed. People with Wet AMD all started with some form of dry macular degeneration which progressed over a period of time, reaching the advanced stages of macular degeneration. As stated above, there is no cure, but there are ways to slow the process down.
Number 1: Quit Smoking...Now
Smoking contributes to the rapid progression of macular degeneration. In a study conducted at the University of Manchester, smokers were found to be more likely to reach the advanced stages than non-smokers. The chemicals in cigarette smoke greatly affect the process of advancement. Experts say that it would be best never to have started smoking, but if you do, stopping now will slow the process.
Number 2: Eat Your Greens
In a study published by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, experts concluded that iron-rich greens, such as raw spinach, greatly reduces the risk factors that cause AMD. Experts found that those who regularly eat carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) had a 43 percent lower risk of AMD than those who eat smaller amounts of these foods. Load up on those green, leafy vegetables!
Number 3: Take Your Vitamins
For years, our parents have made us take our vitamins, and for good reason. Vitamins contain all the necessary ingredients to prevent most preventable conditions. It won’t halt the progression of Wet AMD but eating your vitamins will greatly reduce the speed of its progression. A good quality multivitamin is fine for most people, but if you’ve already been diagnosed with AMD, it’s best to take a formula like our Eye Love Macular Health Formula.
Number 4: Eat More Fish
Studies have shown that eating fish versus eating red meat greatly reduces the risk of AMD. There are some that eat large amounts of fish, then there are some that do not eat any fish. It is highly recommended that those who don’t eat fish begin including it in their diets. Those that eat little to no fish are more at risk of getting AMD than people that eat larger amounts of fish. Fish have properties that land-dwelling animals do not possess and nutrients that can help keep AMD at bay. Even better, pick up a bottle of our Eye Love Omega 3!
Number 5: Exercise Regularly
Starting a regular exercise routine is recommended for everyone. Keeping the body fit reduces the risk of a variety of ailments, including AMD. It is recommended to pick an hour out of each day to exercise the body for health and to reduce weight. There are charts online for you to look up your ideal weight for your height. Ideal body weight varies by your height. Even just getting out and moving your body for 30 minutes a day can help!
In conclusion, we may not have a cure for AMD, but it is up to us to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risks of getting the condition. If you have already been diagnosed, take the above steps to slow down the progression. In doing so, you will have taken the first step to a healthier lifestyle. Have you been diagnosed with macular degeneration? Which of the above steps have you taken toward a healthier life?
Dr. Jenna Zigler
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