5 Steps to Avert Macular Degeneration

complete eye exam for AMDWe all know that exercise can lead to a healthier life, rid you of countless possible diseases and conditions and overall increase your quality of life. While it is common knowledge, not many people choose to add an exercise routine to their day either because of lack of time or some other physical impediment. If you fall under the latter category and you know you belong to a demographic  with high risk of developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration do not worry, there are other things you can do (although we strongly recommend exercise too!);  we present to you five tips to prevent or slow down the progression of AMD:

  1. Eat fish & add fish oil supplements to your diet
    it’s been highlighted in more than one article that maintaining a healthy diet can lead to numerous rewards for your health; it should be no surprise that regular consumption of fish and Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil might dramatically cut the risk of vision loss from AMD[1]. The primary types of fish that studies have linked with lowering the risk for AMD were canned tuna, dark-meat fish such as salmon and sardines[2]. Other benefits of adding Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet include: lower risk of heart problems, cancer, depression, dry eye disease amongst others. *Update August 15/2013: AREDS-2 found that omega-3 does not reduce the risk of AMD Progression.*
  2. Check your blood pressure and maintain normal levels of cholesterol
    Having high blood pressure affects your circulatory system and increases your risk of AMD. If you suffer from high blood pressure and it is controlled, you still have double the risk of wet AMD when compared to someone who does not have hypertension at all. An uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at three times the risk[3].
    Cholesterol levels have also been blamed as one of the causes of AMD. Studies have identified genetic associations between the cholesterol pathway and the AMD disease development[4]. Exactly how cholesterol levels affect the development of AMD are now being studied and they can potentially lead to better targeting future AMD treatments.
  3. Regular eye exams, yearly if possible
    A complete eye examination will not only tell you if you need reading glasses, various tests and tools are used to examine your vision as well as the health of your eyes – inside and out. A simple eye exam can help diagnose at least five diseases; these include age-related macular degeneration, types of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure.
  4. Do not smoke, it’s the worse you can do
    Besides being incredibly bad for your overall health, smoking has been strongly associated with the development of AMD[5]. Cigarette smoking is likely to have toxic effects on the retina. Smoking causes vasoconstriction or narrowing of the blood vessels which reduces the blood supply to the eyes. Numerous studies have put the risk of AMD between two to three times higher than for nonsmokers. It also affects the progression of AMD, speeding up vision loss.
  5. Add dark leafy greens to your diet – include lutein and Macuhealth supplements
    Lutein can help you lower your risk for AMD; it can be found on leafy green foods such as kale, turnip greens, collards, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, Brussels sprouts. Lutein from these foods is absorbed and transported in relatively large quantities to the macula and the lens of the eye.  Other compounds recommended for best eye health include Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin; both are compounds called carotenoids; while Zeaxanthin can be found in nature, Meso-Zeaxanthin is created in the retina from ingested lutein. These three carotenoids have important antioxidant functions in the body and guard it from damaging effects of unstable molecules (also called free radicals) and light-induced oxidative damage that can lead to AMD.
    Macuhealth nutritional supplements with LMZ3 contain all three carotenoids found in the macula and extensive research has shown it to restore macular to normal pigment levels (a 40% increase in MP over a 6 month period).

If you follow these 5 tips and you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should stand a better chance at fighting this devastating disease. Do not wait until you start developing symptoms (not many people notice them either); go see an eye specialist today.


5 thoughts on “5 Steps to Avert Macular Degeneration

  1. Today I was diagnoised with amd and feel very threatened by this. My father has it and the experience he has had has been devastating to he and my mother, not only with the cost of supplements but doctors visits and eye shots. I am reading about the many ways to try and combat this disease through diet exercise and supplements. I am on a very small fixed income and the cost of the supplements is not devasting but it may mean I have to stop taking some other medicines to be able to try and help deter my sight loss with supplements. Is there any financial help available to help with the cost of the new supplements I should be taking to help fight off amd? Thanks for and ideas and help you may have. Bill

    1. Hi Bill, as you know AMD is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision and it is hereditary. We do not offer any financial programs at this time, however as you mentioned the costs are not too high and as this blog post highlights there are some lifestyle changes you and your father can make (if you haven’t already done so) that can also help to prevent or slow down the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Thanks

  2. Great tips on reducing one’s risk for developing AMD. Along with increasing your omega 3 fatty acids, it is important to decrease the bad fats in one’s diet. The ratio of omega 3 fatty acids to omega 6 fatty acids influences how much a person benefits from the omega 3’s. While omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory bad fats from processed foods are pro-inflammatory. Since one of the underlying processes for developing AMD is linked to chronic inflammation, consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.

  3. I have added leafy lettuce and spinach as well as a fish oil pill and I can already feel my eyes getting stronger. I feel much more focused and that I’m squinting to read much less. Thanks for this article!

Leave a Reply