Is Macular Degeneration in your family? You could be at risk

What is Macular Degeneration:

Some macular complications that affect younger people are sometimes referred to as macular degeneration, but the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration. The macula is the spot at the center of your retina (the nerve tissue lining the back of your eye) This sensitive part of the retina is responsible for sharp, central vision and MD is the leading cause of blindness in Australia. To date there is still no known cure for this disease.

What are the symptoms:

The symptom is gradual vison loss where vision may be blurred and objects appear distorted. Often patients complain of missing letters in words or difficulty seeing smaller print to profound loss or graying of central vison, while peripheral vison remains unchanged. Furthermore, colour vison may be altered.

Risk factor:

It is a known age related disease, the older a person gets, the more like they are to develop at least some degree of AMD.

There are a number of risk factors that have been identified, that may increase your risk of developing AMD. If your parents or sibling develop AMD it is thought that your risk of getting it is increased by 50%. Gender- woman are more likely to develop AMD than men. Alcohol- drinking over 4 units of alcohol a day over many years. Sunlight- over exposure to UV light. Obesity- having a body mass index of greater than 30. High blood pressure and heart disease. Smoking.

Guidelines that can help prevent Macular Degeneration or slow AMD;

1. Don’t smoke. Period.

2. Eat plenty of dark, leafy green vegetables, such as raw spinach. Just a half cup of raw spinach three times a week is good.

3. Multivitamin/multimineral supplement, such as Centrum Silver, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

4. Eat fish or take a fish oil supplement. I recommend taking two enteric-coated fish oil capsules every day on days you don’t eat fish. Why enteric-coated? Because it’s designed to help the capsule pass through your stomach unaltered until it finally breaks apart in the intestines; that way, you won’t belch up that fishy taste!

5. Exercise regularly, and stay at a healthy weight.

6. Eat fruit and nuts daily.

7. Reduce refined carbohydrates (high-glycemic index foods)

8. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Regular exercise and weight control can help manage your blood pressure and cholesterol.

9. Wear appropriate sunglasses outdoors to block UV and blue-light that may cause eye damage.

10. Have regular Eye Exams.

If you have any questions on Macula Degeneration or if you need your macula checked, contact Insight Optometrists today for an appointment! Tel: 07 3878 2655