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Macular Degeneration and Your Diet

February Eye Focus: Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the most common eye disease affecting people over age 50, and it is unfortunately irreversible. Some common symptoms include a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision, and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.8 million people have AMD and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss from AMD.

Fortunately, how we treat our bodies over a lifetime can affect us in many ways. We’ve known for a while that carrots are popular eye health foods – but did you know that many other nutrient-dense foods can help maintain optimal eye health? The Mayo Clinic suggests these foods to be added to your shopping cart: kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, fish, beef, pork and lamb. What makes these foods noteworthy is their high content of antioxidants (lutein) and zinc.

Smoking is another risk factor for AMD. Please stop smoking. Your body (and your family and friends) will thank you.

And finally, of course, keep up with your regular eye health exams. Dilation is key here – a dilated eye exam can identify macular degeneration in early stages. And while managing your care, your eye doctor can help prolong and preserve optimal vision.

 

Information taken from the American Optometric Association

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