Macular degeneration is an eye disease that attacks the macula due to damage in the retina. The macula is the center of your visual field. This condition commonly occurs in older people, especially those who are more than 50 years old. It is the major cause of blindness and vision loss in adults. When you have macular degeneration, you will have a hard time reading and recognizing faces. You will rely solely on your peripheral vision.
Since this is a common condition, you should do your best to take precautions so you can avoid suffering from it in the future. Here are some useful information you need to know about macular degeneration.
If you possess any of the factors listed below, then you are at risk of suffering from macular degeneration. You should ensure that you take good care of your eyes to avoid this condition.
• Genetics. If someone in your family has this disease or if you have a family history of this condition, then you have a high risk of developing the same.
• Gender. Studies show that women are more prone to suffering from this condition compared to men.
• Smoking. When you smoke cigarettes, you have a high risk of developing macular degeneration.
• Diet. When you have limited intake of fruits and vegetables, you are at risk of suffering from this condition.
• Medical Conditions. Certain conditions can increase your risk of developing this disease. These can include conditions that affect the circulatory system like high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol level.
• Age. As you grow older, your risk of developing this condition goes higher as well. The risk usually increases when you reach 50 years old.
• Race. Whites are more prone to suffer from this disease compared to other races. The risk increases after age 75.
• Weight. Obesity increases the risk of early stages of this condition to develop into a more severe level.
The bad news is there is no available treatment to reverse the effects of macular degeneration. But you don’t have to worry. With early detection and proper precautions, you can prevent it from worsening.
Here are some remedies you may undertake:
• See your optometrist regularly and have your eye checked at least once a year so you can monitor your condition.
• Increase your vitamin intake as follows: 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin E, 15 mg of beta carotene in the form of up to 25,000 international units of vitamin A, 80 mg of zinc as zinc oxide and 2 mg of copper as cupric oxide. Before proceeding to do this, make sure to consult your doctor first to make sure that the dosage is right for you.
• The latest study on macular degeneration called the AREDS 2, will probably show that supplementing with Lutein and Omega 3 potentially will be major player in the journey to suppress macular degeneration
• If you smoke, make sure to inform your doctor before you start taking the vitamins listed above. Beta carotene supplements can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers so you might need to replace this with other vitamins.
• Have a balanced diet that should consist of fruits, vegetables and fish that contain nutrients that are essential in keeping your eyes healthy.
• For severe cases of macular degeneration, you may undergo a surgery to implant telescopic lens in one eye. The lens is like a small plastic tube with lenses that magnify the field of vision.
• Currently the standard of care for severe (wet) macular degeneration are ongoing anti VEGF injections (Lucentis or Avastin). With the Dry form there is nothing other than reducing your risk factors and supplementing with the already mentioned dietary options.