Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Most often, it’s an age related disease, and is often referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration. This disease affects over 13 million people in America.
What does it do? Macular Degeneration slowly breaks down the macula, the light-sensitive area of the retina, which gives you sharp and clear vision. Because this is a mostly age related disease, people over 65 years are affected more. However, macular degeneration can, and does affect people at all ages. So it’s a good idea to keep your eyes healthy now.
Macular degeneration causes a slow loss of vision, and often, you’re not even aware of it for a period of time. Here are some sign of macular degeneration:
– You see a fuzzy or blurry area in your central vision.
– Your vision seems fuzzy or blurry.
– Straight lines look wavy to you.
Currently, it is unknown exactly what causes macular degeneration. However, macular degeneration tends to run in families, and smoking and drinking can increase your risk for this disease. Studies have shown that people who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day are 300% more likely to lose their vision than people who didn’t smoke.
The best prevention method known is getting enough of the essential nutrients. Vitamins A, C, and E reduce your risk for macular degeneration, and also slow down its progress if you’re already affected. If you are a heavy smoker, this will also increase your chance of having macular degeneration.
Drinking too much alcohol also affects your eyesight. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenes that help reduce you risk for eye health problems. Studies have found that people who drink heavily have less Lutein and Zeaxanthin. So by drinking a lot of alcohol, you’re also putting your eyesight at risk.
High fat intake is associated with an increased risk of macular degeneration in both women and men. By reducing and limiting your consumption of fats can help reduce your risk of having macular degeneration. A healthy, balanced diet that includes more white meat and less red meat, and reducing consumption of whole milk, cheese, margarine, and butter can greatly reduce your fat intake.