(Pictured: What your vision can look like, with macular degeneration.)
There are generally 2 types of macular degeneration; dry and wet. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dry macular degeneration is marked by deterioration of the macula (MAK-u-luh), which is in the center of the retina. The layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eyeball. Wet macular degeneration — is characterized by blood vessels that grow under the retina in the back of the eye, leaking blood and fluid.” According to the National Institutes of Health, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Americans 60 and older.
Risk Factors include:
-Age: Risk increases with age, especially after 50.
-Smoking: Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of developing macular degeneration
-Race: The leading cause of blindness in the US with aging caucasians.
-Gender/Women: This may partially be due to women living longer
-Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure without UV protection sunglasses can increase the risk of macular degeneration progressing more severely to those at high risk
What Can You Do About it?
-Have Your Eyes Examined: Diagnosis in early stages can be key. There also have been tremendous advances in technology in treating macular degeneration.
-Control Your Diet
-Have a Diet balanced in Antioxidants and Omega 3 Fish Oil: Consult with your primary care doctor or dietitian about diet changes.
-Check your Family History
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me. Have a great day!