How to Slow Down Macular Degeneration

How to Slow Down Macular Degeneration

If you or a loved one is suffering from AMD you may be asking yourself how to slow down macular degeneration. This article is going to discuss the actions you can take to help slow the progression of this horrible eye disease.

Before we discuss how to slow down macular degeneration, we will complete a brief overview of macular degeneration and how this disease has reached nearly epidemic status.

It is estimated that as many as 10 million Americans are currently suffering from macular degeneration and it is estimated to affect 190 million people worldwide by 2020.

It is currently the leading cause of blindness in men and women over the age of 55.

Since macular degeneration is most common in those over the age of 50 it is growing at an alarming rate as baby boomers age.

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What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that slowly damages an area of the eye called the macula resulting in a dark spot in the center of the visual field.  This can leave it impossible to read or even recognize faces. It is a progressive disease which means it gets words over time.

Macular Degeneration is found in two forms. There is the dry form and the wet form with the latter being more severe.

One with Dry Macular Degeneration can experience vision loss through changes in light sensitive cells in the macula which creates a black spot.

Wet Macular Degeneration is from the abnormal growth of blood vessels under the retina that leak and cause damage to the macula, again creating a black spot in one’s central vision.

Unfortunately, both forms are incurable and are treated differently. Wet Macular Degeneration is treated with injections into the eye, while dry macular degeneration is treated with macular degeneration vitamins and lifestyle changes.

For the remainder of this discussion we are going to focus on dry macular degeneration and how to slow down the progression.

Lifestyle

Macular Degeneration is hereditary so if a loved one suffers from this disease there is a greater chance that you will as well. Additionally, it is more prevalent in women than men.

Unfortunately, we cannot change or genetic makeup, but there are certain lifestyle choices we can make on a daily basis that can help slow macular degeneration.

Here are 6 Ways to Help Slow Down Macular Degeneration:

  1. Don’t Drink Alcohol Excessively

Recent studies have shown that excessive drinking can deplete your body of Vitamin A and has been linked directly to problems in the eyes.

The key here is moderation and not to drink excessively because some recent medical research suggests that one glass of red wine per day for men or three glasses of red wine per week for women may actually offer some protection against toxicity build up and diseases like macular degeneration.

This may because it protects blood vessels in your eyes with antioxidants found in wine.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten attention.  Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.”

  1. Don’t Smoke

Smoking is bad for your health… period.  Smoking causes a plethora of health issues, disease, and complications.  It has also been linked to a higher risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration.  Smoking increases free radicals in your body, which raises body toxicity levels as well as eyesight toxicity levels.

According to the CDC, “Smoking is bad for your eyes, just like it is for the rest of your body. Two of the greatest threats to a smoker’s eyesight are macular degeneration and cataracts.”

Additionally, the CDC states, “If you smoke: You are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a nonsmoker. You are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts compared with a nonsmoker.”

  1. Eat a diet rich in green-leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are nature’s vitamin and mineral factories. Studies have shown that green leafy vegetables do offer some protection from free radicals and eyesight toxicity.   Researchers however do not know for sure how much you need on a daily basis for maximum protection. Preliminary results say that anybody interested in their eye health should eat at least one serving (1 cup) of green leafy vegetables every day.

     4. Get Plenty of Exercise

Regular exercise is shown to help regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. Both are vital in helping fight macular degeneration.

    5. Get Regular Eye Exams

Early detection of eye problems is currently one of the best defenses against later problems.  If you are over 55, then you should get your eyes examined by your eye care professional at least once per year.  If you have an eye disease like macular degeneration, then you should get it monitored every 6 months.

  1. Take a Powerful Antioxidant Vision Vitamin

The National Eye Institute of the US National Institutes of Health completed two of the largest studies on age related eye disease called AREDS and AREDS 2.

They found that supplementing your diet with a daily eye vitamin containing very specific items can slow the progression of dry macular degeneration. National Eye Institute Director, Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., reported supplementation is the only way to decrease risk of vision loss.

NEI director Dr. Paul A. Sieving, reports, “At present, the only established way to decrease the risk of vision loss in people with large drusen is to take daily supplements of vitamins and minerals as used in the NEI-supported Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).”

He says that taking the proper supplement is the ONLY way to decrease the risk of vision loss!

This makes it critical to take a powerful anti-oxidant supplement with the vitamins and minerals that can slow age related macular degeneration.

Vitamins with specific antioxidants are known to support ocular health.  Antioxidants keep free radicals under control, helping slow macular degeneration.

However, not all eye vitamins are created equal.  It is important to take a daily vitamin that contains the 7 “magic” nutrients that have been found to fight age related eye conditions. You can learn more about the 7 “magic” nutrients here.

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In Conclusion

If you or a loved one is suffering from macular degeneration then you must take every step you can to slow the progression. Incorporating these lifestyle habits may be your best defense against it getting worse.

If you have not been diagnosed with macular degeneration, it is unclear if you can prevent it, however, these 6 recommendations above would be of best practice to support healthy eyes and a healthy body.

Although this eye disease is robbing millions of men and women of their vision, there is hope to slow down macular degeneration through proper lifestyle changes, which as of today is the best we can hope for until there is a cure.



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