Macular degeneration is a situation where the human eye begins to fail as they age. No one knows why it happens. But certain factors can cause it, including obesity, smoking, and diet. Symptoms of this condition include blurred or no vision in the center of the eye. There are ways to help prevent macular degeneration. Living a clean and healthy life is a start. People at risk will need to quit smoking to have any chance of survival.
1. Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
The human eye requires a regular flow of blood to remain in good function. Too much blood as a result of high blood pressure can damage the eye. Damage to the eye or retinopathy is one of the common causes of macular degeneration.
The light-sensitive part in the back of your eye can also start to bleed. When the pressure on it is too much, you experience blurry vision. So, to have good eye quality, you will need to maintain healthy blood pressure (1).
Avoid anything that forces blood to your eyes. Don’t allow anything or anyone to squeeze your neck. If you experience any attacks that lead to bleeding in the eyes, make sure to see your doctor immediately.
2. Quit Smoking
There are many reasons to stop smoking, one of which is to maintain good eyesight. As you get older, you begin to experience a decline in sight quality. But smoking will make it worse so much that you will lose your sight.
So, to prevent macular degeneration, you will need to quit smoking. Smoking also leads to cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, and Dry Eye Syndrome. So when you quit, there are so many benefits to enjoy.
3. Get More Antioxidants in Your Body
Oxidative stress is the enemy of every living thing. It damages all the cells in the body and weakens them until they die or can’t work in full capacity. Oxidative stress also affects the cells in the eye leading to macular degeneration.
To reverse the effects of oxidative stress, you might want to get more antioxidants. These are compounds that replenish cells against the effect of oxidative stress (2). Antioxidants also give more energy and make your eyes clearer. The best way to get antioxidants is through food. Eat dark chocolate, blueberries, kale, beetroot, and avocadoes.
4. Take Supplements
You can also prevent macular degeneration by replenishing your body with nutrients. Apart from antioxidants, your eyes also need other minerals and nutrients. When these nutrients are absent, it exposes your eyes to cellular degeneration. You can get these nutrients by consuming supplements.
Also, before taking any supplements, make sure you see your doctor. The physician will give you direction on the best dosage and options of supplements to take. Supplements good for your eyes are beta-carotene, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, and copper.
5. Reduce the Amount of Carbs in Food
Simple carbs are one of the greatest enemies of the eye. Excessive sugar interferes with the eyesight process and displaces nutrients and minerals. People who eat lots of sugar have greater exposure to macular degeneration. The idea here is to switch from simple sugars to complex sugars (3).
Simple sugars to avoid include soda, candy, fruit juice, pastries, and ice cream. Whole wheat, pasta, fiber-rich fruits, and vegetables are great for your eyes.
6. Regular Eye Examination Is Key
Seeing an eye doctor once in a while can also help you prevent macular degeneration. Regular examination and tests are important for healthy eyes that will last a lifetime. Your eye doctor will examine you by placing you on several tests. If he finds anything wrong, he will make recommendations on treatment.
He’ll also tell you some of the foods and activities to avoid. People who go for regular eye examinations will also get eye issues detected on time. Early detection saves money, time, and energy and makes life easier. Your doctor will recommend eyeglasses if you need them for better sight.
7. Wear Sunglasses
Too much sunlight will make your eye situation worse. That’s why you need to wear sunglasses often, especially if you found out that you are exposed to macular degeneration. Ultraviolet radiation or (UV) is not good for your eyes.
When you go outdoors on sunny days, you’re exposed to this kind of rays. That is what sunglasses are good for. They help you protect your eyes against UV and keep you healthy with clear sight.
There are several types of sunglasses with different UV ratings. Sunglasses with UV 400 rating will ensure that all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers can’t reach your eyes. That means that 99% of dangerous rays can’t get to you.
8. Know Your Family History
Sometimes the rate at which your eyes degenerate will be based on DNA and genes. That’s why to prevent macular degeneration; you will need to know your family history.
The medical history will open your eyes and provide you with rich data to help you make smart health decisions. If any of your parents or grandparents had it, then you’re most likely at risk. Then you will need to be more careful and pay attention to signs. Knowing your family history of eye problems will help you a lot. You will know what to do and what not to do on time.
9. Amsler Grid
In addition to seeing doctors for tests, you can also do tests by yourself. You can do this using the Amsler grid. The grid offers a simple way to test the quality of your eyesight as often as possible. The good thing is you can do this in the comfort of your home. All you need to do is place the paper grid 14 -16 inches from your eyes. If you need to wear glasses, then do so.
Test each eye separately by placing a hand over the other. Check if the lines of the grid appear blurred. Are the boxes of the grid square and the same? Do you see holes or missing areas? If you detect anything unusual, call your doctor immediately.
10. Maintain a Good Weight
Obesity and excess weight can also lead to eye degeneration. Excess fat may cause blood vessels to shrink. When this happens, it leads to a delay in blood supply (4). A good weight will help you maintain good eyesight and prevent macular degeneration.
Aleksandra Nico, Psy.D., is a Psychologist and Editorial Assistant for Whatsdalatest who writes about mental health, relationships, human behaviour, and health. Aleksandra is passionate about helping others make well-informed choices to support and improve their physical and emotional well-being.