Tips for Protecting Eye Health and Preventing Macular Degeneration

Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration. Fortunately, some studies suggest you can do several things to minimize the chances of developing this condition. If there is a history of macular degeneration in your family, you should be incredibly diligent about doing everything possible to prevent it.


What Is Macular Degeneration?

Also known as age-related macular degeneration, this is an eye condition that can cause you to lose your central vision. You lose the ability to see an object’s fine details, whether you are looking at it from afar or nearby. However, you will see things normally from your side/peripheral vision. For example, if you look at a clock with hands, you might see its numbers but not its hands.

When it comes to eye conditions, macular degeneration is one of the most severe. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss among the elderly. To understand its severity, consider that more than 10 million people in the U.S. currently suffer from the condition. This makes it more prevalent than glaucoma and cataracts combined.

Macular degeneration causes the back of the eye near the retina to weaken or deteriorate.


Risk Factors

The medical community has yet to ascertain the exact cause of age-related macular degeneration. However, certain factors may increase your likelihood of developing the condition. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Family history of macular degeneration
  • Smoking history
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Diet
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun
  • Eye color
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity


How to Protect Your Eyes and Prevent Macular Degeneration

To minimize your risk of developing macular degeneration, you need to start by leading a healthy lifestyle. This is especially important for high-risk individuals who may identify with any of the above risk factors. Some of the most helpful prevention tips include:

  • Wearing sunglasses: You should consider investing in a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses. They will protect you from blue and UV light that can lead to retinal damage from prolonged or repeated exposure to the sun and/or digital screens.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure: Poor blood circulation can restrict blood flow to major organs of your body, including your eyes. This can contribute to macular degeneration. One of the most effective ways to lower your blood pressure is losing weight. If you already have hypertension, even a small loss of weight will do you lots of good.
  • Eat leafy greens vegetables: You need to consume lots of Swiss chard, kale, spinach, and other leafy green veggies. They are rich in antioxidant vitamins and nutrients that will help protect your eyes against cellular damage from free radicals.

If you are over the age of 45, regular eye exams are key when it comes to preventing macular degeneration. These exams will help your eye doctor catch any eye condition early, which will allow for early intervention.

To learn more about macular degeneration, visit Grove Eye Care at our offices in Richmond or Midlothian, Virginia. You can also call (804) 353-3937 or (804) 888-8998 to book an appointment today.

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8048888998 8048888999 14431 Suite B Sommerville Court
Midlothian, VA 23113