How Your Diet Can Prevent and Manage Macular Degeneration
As you get older, your vision may be at risk. A host of eye conditions can lead to vision loss and other serious issues that affect your eyesight. One such condition is known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in people older than 55 years older. The condition affects the macula, which is the central portion of the retina. While AMD is irreversible, its progression can be slowed and even stopped through proper care.
The team at Monterey County Eye Associates offer many professional treatments for AMD, though these are meant as a supplement to certain things patients can do to improve their lifestyles and overall health. With that in mind, let's consider how a health diet can help address AMD.
Macular Degeneration and the Role of Nutrition
The old saying is that you are what you eat. To a large extent, that's quite true. Healthy diets can have a major impact on your health and overall wellness. In fact, good nutrition and healthy lifestyles have been considered two great ways to prevent AMD from occurring or from becoming severe.
It's important that people eat healthy and balanced diets at all times, and especially if they begin to develop AMD. Some key vitamins and nutrients that help fight AMD include:
- Carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods AMD Patients Should Eat
For good sources of vitamin C, consider some of the following fruits and vegetables:
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards)
- Bell peppers
- Citrus fruits
For vitamin E, the following foods may be ideal:
- Sunflower seeds
To add more zinc to your diet, the following foods are ideal:
- Dried beans
- Dark meat poultry
- Lean beef
- Whole wheat flour
For omega-3 fatty acids, consider the following types of fish:
- Lake trout
Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins
Sometimes getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need in a day can be difficult. Your eye doctor may recommend taking nutritional supplements and vitamins to meet your daily needs. Take any and all supplements as directed by your doctor.
Other Health Tips to Prevent and Manage AMD
In addition to improving our diet, some other things you can do to help prevent or manage AMD include:
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products
- Keep blood pressure under control
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors
- Wear a hat with a brim in the sun
If you do suffer from AMD, there are a number of assistive devices to enhance your vision quality and make daily tasks simpler. You can discuss these with your eye doctor as needed.
See Your Eye Doctor Regularly
If you are getting older, are at risk of developing AMD, or have AMD, be sure to see your eye doctor regularly. Additional eye exams can help prevent the condition from occurring or slow down the condition so it does not impact your vision as severely.
Be sure to speak with your general practitioner or your eye doctor during your next exam to determine the ideal schedule for you given your needs.
Contact Monterey County Eye Associates
For more information about improving your vision and enhancing your overall wellness, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists today. The team at Monterey County Eye Associates is here to help you see the world clearly and enjoy the sights it has to offer.