Friday, July 8, 2011

Preventing Vision Loss In Macular Degeneration Part 1

One of our Skyvision Centers Facebook Friends asked a question about how we treat early Macular Degeneraton (AMD). AMD is an aging change in the center of the retina, the area we call the MACULA. This is the part of the eye that controls our central vision, the part of our vision we use to read, drive, recognize faces, and stuff like that. AMD destroys the center of the macula and therefore the center of the vision.

There are two general types of AMD, wet (or bleeding) and dry (or non-bleeding). We'll talk more about the direct treatment of wet AMD another time. Let's concentrate on what we can do to prevent AMD from getting worse whether it's dry, or dry with a risk to become wet.

There are four traditional risk factors for developing AMD. Age is the first, of course. The older we get the greater the risk we have of developing AMD and vision loss. Family history is the next most important. If you have a parent, brother, or sister you have a much higher risk of getting AMD. Gender (women more than men) and eye color (blue more than brown) are mild risk factors. Some newer data shows that obesity and lack of exercise are also associated with AMD and visual loss.

So right off the bat we have a couple of things we can do to prevent AMD, or if we have it to prevent or slow vision loss. STOP SMOKING! We can't emphasize this enough. The most important thing you can do if you smoke is STOP. A healthier diet, losing weight, and increasing exercise will all lower your risk as well. Eating healthy carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, and making sure to eat only beneficial fats like nuts, olive oil, and avacado to fuel your new exercise program is the way to go.

In an upcoming post we'll talk specifically about nutritional supplements to prevent vision loss.

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