We 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:
- 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. 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. 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.*
- 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.
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. Exactly how cholesterol levels affect the development of AMD are now being studied and they can potentially lead to better targeting future AMD treatments.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2011/03/fish-and-fish-oil-linked-to-reduced-risk-of-macular-degeneration.html  Ophthalmology 2003;110: 636-643  http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/april2010/04192010eye.htm