Eyesight is valuable, and once it is lost, it can be very hard to regain. The best thing to do is to take the necessary steps to protect your vision and do what you can to prevent vision loss from conditions such as macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that is characterized by vision loss in the center of the field of vision. The vision loss is caused by the degeneration of the macula, which is the center part of the retina located in the back of the eye. Macular degeneration symptoms can include blurriness when trying to read, difficulty recognizing faces, trouble adjusting to low light settings, or the need for more bright light to do detailed tasks.
It is unknown exactly what causes macular degeneration, but there are some risk factors to keep in mind:
- Age: It often affects people over 60, though it is possible to develop it at a younger age.
- Family history: If other members of your family have this condition, you are more likely to develop it at some point in your life.
- Smoking: People who smoke are more likely than non-smokers to develop macular degeneration.
- Obesity: Those who are overweight experience increases in the risk of developing this disease.
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol: Both of these factors into the likelihood of developing macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration treatment often includes changing your diet to include certain vitamins and minerals to slow the progression of the disease. In severe cases, treatment for macular degeneration can include surgery to implant a telescopic lens
into one eye.
Because there are so few treatment options available, the best thing to do is to focus on prevention. To help prevent the disease, be sure to have routine eye exams – a dilated eye exam can identify the condition. It is also important to manage your blood pressure, avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and eat a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as fish and nuts – antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are likely to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.