If you are concerned about developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), follow these recommendations:*

–    Quit smoking- smoking doubles the risk of developing macular degeneration.
–    Eat lots of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli and sweet corn; which are rich in carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids accumulate in the macul region of retina of the eye and help protect the photoreceptors from damage caused by light, particularly against damge by blue light.
Lutein and zeaxanthin concentrate in macula of the eye and act like natural sun block protecting retina from damaging effect of light.

–    Reduce intake of saturated fats, and enrich your diet with omega-3 fatty acids by eating more oily fish. Take at least two meals of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna.
–    Although the effects are marginal, sunglasses can provide protection from the damaging effects of light.
–    Control your weight and blood pressure, and limit alcohol intake.  Alcohol can deplete antioxidant levels in the body.
–    Exercise regularly, which has been shown to reduce risk of developing macular degeneration or AMD.
–    Detect early signs of eye disease by regular visits to your eye doctor, at least every two years; modify lifestyle and/or if needed start treatment early.

Early macular degeneration or AMD doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, but eye examination can reveal them. It is important to identify the first signs of macular degeneration so that you can start early treatment and particulalry start taking eye health nutrients and if need supplementation. With early detection and treatment, there is a better chance to prevent vision loss.


* Your should consult your doctor for any lifestyle or diet changes.


Resources on lifestyle changes to reduce risk of developing age-related macular degeneration:
– http://www.maculardisease.org/

– http://www.amdalliance.org/

– Barker, FM. (2010) Dietary supplementation: effects on visual performance and occurrence of AMD and cataracts. Current Medical Research & Opinion 26: 2011–2023.

– DeBlack SS. (2003). Cigarette smoking as a risk factor for cataract and age-related macular degeneration: a review of the literature.Optometry.74:99-110.

– http://www.nutrition.org.uk

– http://www.rnib.org.uk