5 Ways You May Be Causing Future Macular Degeneration

5 Ways You May Be Causing Future Macular Degeneration

Much of how you live your daily life could be leading to macular degeneration development. Like so many diseases, it is an accumulated history that eventually catches up with people when all that was needed was some simple changes early on. 

These 5 ways you are causing future macular degeneration show how studies confirm high risks that are easily avoidable. You probably wouldn’t drive your car without your seat belt on, so why use your vision without any available protection possible? Knowing what you can do before being confronted with compromised sight could mean the difference between healthy vision for as long as possible or rapidly going blind before you are seventy.

No Nuts, No More

If you avoid eating nuts or just don’t get enough, you may want to re-explore these kernels of power packed  goodness. Yes, nuts can be fattening so you may avoid them for that reason or maybe you just don’t like them. Well, the fats in nuts are complex fats which means your body utilizes them as efficiently as possible. Whereas other fats, such as processed foods, are simple fats and often end up causing weight gain. There are also a wide variety of nuts with at least one type overriding your finicky taste buds. Science supports consuming nuts as an excellent nutritional source that could enhance your visual health by strengthening your retina which could stave off macular degeneration. 

As reported by All About Vision, 

a “study from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary demonstrated that eating nuts helped deter progression of early or intermediate AMD [age related macular degeneration] to more advanced stages.”

For prevention of macular degeneration, The Harvard School of Medicine recommends eating about a handful or two of almonds per day. However, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pistachios are all potent options.

More Fish or Algae

Fish contain fatty acids that have been linked to a variety of health benefits including the potential for protecting against macular degeneration. Not consuming enough fish could be affecting your current and future vision. If you don’t eat animal products, vegan certified algae supplements are an excellent alternative that may help your sight as well. 

Fish contain high levels of ω-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexanoic acid, which is also found in the retina. People associated with low levels of fatty acids such as docosahexanoic and linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) have been linked to potentially developing a more rapid progression of AMD.

A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology stated that,

“Higher fish intake was associated with a lower risk of AMD progression among subjects with lower linoleic acid intake. Processed baked goods, which are higher in some of these fats, increased the rate of AMD progression approximately 2-fold, and nuts were protective. Fish intake and nuts reduced risk.”

Algae contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid (compound that gives color to plants) which is considered a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with neuroprotective effects. According to a study by researchers at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Padova, Italy as reported by Natural Products Insider, 

“The human retina naturally contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, molecules closely related to astaxanthin. Supplementation with all three carotenoids has been shown to improve visual acuity and contrast detection in people with early AMD.”

Eat more fish (about three times per week) or take daily algae supplements to help prevent developing macular degeneration.

Lay Off the Salt and Sugar

Your diet probably contains more sugar and salt beyond what is considered healthy. Over time, excessive salt intake inevitably leads to high blood pressure aka hypertension. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports, 

“About 1 of 3 U.S. adults, or about 75 million people, have high blood pressure.” 

In addition, increased levels of processed sugars are linked to development of diabetes and high cholesterol. Dr Shanel Sharma, eye specialist and surgeon from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists commented that, 

“High cholesterol and high blood pressure are risk factors for diabetic eye diseases and macular degeneration so keeping a low salt intake and low sugar intake are important,”

Stick to more dark green leafy vegetable dishes using spices such as black pepper, turmeric, rosemary and more in place of salt. Sweets can be minimal fruits, nuts, dried fruits (without sulfite preservative) and honey with many more low sugar, non-processed options available. 

You Cheaped Out on Your Sunglasses

Our eyes are most vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet rays in our teens, 20s, and 30s, however  damage, such as developing macular degeneration, will not show symptoms until you are older. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are more prominent and destructive near reflective surfaces such as water, snow, and even wet roads. It is recommended that sunglasses which cover the entire front and side surfaces of the eye area play a significant role in protecting your eyesight from AMD. However, you don’t need to break the bank to get a good pair of protective sunglasses. 

Harvard Medical School reports that, 

“Protecting your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays is a good strategy at any age. You don’t have to spend a bundle to get a good pair of sunglasses. But you do need to know what to look for in lenses. Most important: protection against ultraviolet rays, both UVA and UVB. You’ll want 95% to 100% blockage. Also look for polarized lenses; they reduce the glare from water, sand, and snow.”

If you don’t trust labels, talk to your eye doctor or an eyeglass professional about the best brand for you. 

These 5 ways you are causing future macular degeneration show how focusing on some simple adjustments could set your eye health ahead of the curve. Don’t turn into another AMD statistic if you can help it. Add more nuts, fish or algae to your diet while avoiding processed salts and sugars. At the same time get yourself a good pair of protective sunglasses that can even be worn on cloudy days when hidden or reflective rays could be just as dangerous as direct sunlight.