Considering how people are naturally born with the ability to see, it can be rather depressing if you suddenly found out you might go blind in a few years. Macular degeneration affects millions of people worldwide, and more are going at risk. It's one of the most common causes of blindness for seniors over 65; although most people can be at risk at any age.
Myvisioncare Eye Doctors say though, that living with this eye disease doesn't have to be so hard. With friends and family around, plus regular visits to an eye specialist, macular degeneration can be slowed down for the individual to continue living a normal, happy life.
What is Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD occurs when the macula, the sensitive part of the retina responsible for central vision, becomes damaged. During the early stages of AMD, the tissues of the macula may start degenerating or thinning, resulting in pigments or yellow spots in and around the macula region. This can be seen during a comprehensive eye exam with your ophthalmologist.
There are several factors which can affect the progression of the disease; however, experts are still uncertain as to the actual causes of AMD. Caucasians are affected more than other races, and some believe this is due to light eye colors which can be more sensitive to the light. Some studies have shown (although it's not completely proven) that excess exposure to UV rays from the sun may lead to AMD. Other lifestyle factors include diet, smoking, and eye care habits.
Even though AMD needs to be diagnosed as early as possible, very few folks actually went blind because of it. In severe cases, AMD can progress to more advanced stages, causing new blood vessels to form underneath the retina; leaking blood and fluid. This can lead to permanent damage to the light-sensitive cells in that area, eventually causing vision loss.
How To Live with AMD
Many folks can live a normal life even after being diagnosed with AMD. It can be quite challenging at first, because it can hamper with daily activities such as reading and driving. But with a few simple changes and a bit of help, AMD doesn't have to be such a debilitating disease.
Quit smoking. Smoking is harmful not only to the eyes, but to other vital organs as well. As early as you can, cut the act and you can decrease the progression of AMD.
Go green with fruits and vegetables. Green leafy food are high in zinc, lutein, antioxidants, and other minerals that are good for eye health.
Get moving. Try to get as much as 2 to 3 hours a week of exercise through easy tasks like walking or doing household chores.
Visit your eye doctor regularly, as well as your familyphysician. Keep blood sugar levels and blood pressure under control so AMD can also stay in check.
Ask friends and family to help you around the house. One of the main issues with AMD is loss of visual contrast. Stuff like dishes and furniture may be replaced with dark or light-colored variants so you can see them better.
Don't forget to ask your ophthalmologist for any supplements you can take orally for your condition. These special formulas have shown a decrease in vision loss for people living with macular degeneration.