How to Slow the Progression of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease that affects millions of people in America. Doctors are yet to know what causes this disease. Elderly people are more prone to getting this disease. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are ways one can slow its progression.



How Macular Degeneration Damages the Eye



Macular degeneration causes blurred vision when the small area at the back of the eye (the macula) gets damaged. Also known as AMD (age-related macular degeneration), this eye disease breaks down the macula that is responsible for your most refined vision. 


Tiny fatty tissues known as drusen form in the macula. As the disease progresses, new blood vessels start to grow, causing oxidative damage and inflammation. As the retina is very delicate and cannot handle the additional tissue growth, this results in the damage and distortion of photoreceptors. 


Doctors are not clear about what causes AMD. One known fact is that this eye disease affects people above the age of 50. Known risk factors that can cause the development of AMD in seniors include:
 

  • Sunlight and smoking can contribute to the degradation of the structures of the eyes.
     

  • Not eating a healthy diet can also contribute to AMD development.
     

  • Having less efficient digestion can hinder the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
     

  • Seniors have accumulated oxidative that can damage one’s system.



Strategies to Slow Macular Degeneration



Wear Sunglasses


Wearing sunglasses with UV protection can help protect your eye’s retina from repeated exposure to sunlight. You can also avoid spending too much time under direct sunlight or ensure you wear a pair of sunglasses with UV 400 when outdoors.



Maintain the Right Body Weight and a Healthy Blood Pressure


High blood pressure may cause poor blood circulation. Restricted blood flow to the eyes’ blood vessels can contribute to AMD. You are also advised to maintain the right weight. Being overweight can lower your blood pressure, and the situation can get worse if you have hypertension as well. 



Take Supplements


Patients with AMD should take multivitamins, especially if they have deficient diets. Special vitamins taken by patients with AMD are not considered treatment, but they can slow the development of macular degeneration.



Eat Lots of Greens


Eating lots of leafy greens such as Swiss chard, kale, and spinach can help your system protect against cellular damage. Leafy greens contain antioxidant vitamins that are vital to forming antibodies.



Stop Smoking


If you are diagnosed with AMD, you should stop smoking immediately. Smoking doubles the risk of AMD development. Smoking can cause damage to your cells, keeping nutrients from reaching your retina. Also, this habit exposes your body to oxidants. 



Check Your Family History


If you have a family member who has AMD, chances are high that you may develop it too. Be on the lookout for macular degeneration symptoms such as blurry vision, seeing straight lines that appear wavy, aversion to low light, and having difficulty recognizing familiar faces. 

 

If you have macular degeneration, you need to visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can help you make adjustments that will allow you to participate fully in the activities of daily living. If you are not sure if you have AMD but experience symptoms, ask your eye doctor to perform some tests during your next eye exam.




To know more about how to slow the progression of macular degeneration, visit El Paso Eyecare at our office in El Paso, Texas. You can also call (915) 745-7960 to book an appointment today.