Macular degeneration: What can I do to prevent it?
Age-related macular degeneration – also known as AMD – is the most common eye disease in the western world, which can lead to severe visual impairment in those affected. The disease affects the center of the retina and the macula – the point of sharpest vision.
AMD often occurs in old age – often in people over 60 years of age. That is why it is also called age-related macular degeneration.
There are now indications that age-related macular degeneration can be influenced by a change in lifestyle: In particular, the course of the disease and its severity can be influenced to a certain extent and a blindness can be delayed or even prevented.
Can age-related macular degeneration be avoided?
You might be wondering what precautionary measures you can take to prevent you from developing AMD in the first place?
There is no one hundred percent protection against developing AMD. However, it is possible to delay AMD by knowing the risk factors as well as possible avoids.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of possible triggers for retinal degeneration. Studies indicate that AMD can be favored by certain factors.
Knowing and avoiding AMD risk factors
Early prevention if relatives are already suffering from AMD
If AMD has already occurred in the family environment, one should have an preventive examination once a year, starting at the age of 55. Your own risk of developing the disease is increased if there is AMD in close relatives.
Avoid negative environmental influences
Too much sunlight or UV light should be avoided and sunglasses with appropriate UV protection should be used in strong sun and when sunbathing.
A healthy lifestyle can curb the progression of AMD and retinal destruction. Regular check-ups also help to identify and treat possible AMD at an early stage.
Best protection against AMD: adapt your own behavior
Smoking has negative effects – try to avoid nicotine and quit smoking.
A balanced and healthy diet, a correspondingly high consumption of fruit and vegetables and a moderate consumption of fish and olive oil make a lot of sense. Omega-3 fatty acids and other food additives such as lutein and zeaxanthine have a positive influence on the disease.
The so-called Mediterranean diet, as it is known for example from the southern French or Italian cuisine, can be beneficial.
Dietary supplements can also be taken in the form of tablets in the early stages of the disease.
Physical exercise such as walks or age-appropriate endurance sports like swimming, walking or cycling are also part of holistic preventive care: a healthy cardiovascular system contributes to general well-being and health and helps a possible treatment to improve the prognosis.