Macular Degeneration Self-Check and Prevention Tips

Macular Degeneration Self-Check and Prevention Tips

It is easy to enjoy the ordinary to awesome images of life when your vision is healthy. However, such a time is the best time to also start playing offense rather than defense. Find out if you have the beginning stages of macular degeneration and how you can take some proactive steps to slow its progression. These are a variety of simple adjustments you can apply now and again or just some clues to be on the lookout for.

When it comes to your vision, don’t fall victim to unexpected symptoms. Prepare yourself so you can stay ahead of the curve and glide into your later years with these macular degeneration self-check and prevention tips.

Cut Out The Risks

Before you even look in the mirror at your eyes, consider some of the most prominent, often obvious  and sometimes surprising risk factors for macular degeneration.

The Cape May Herald recently published an article that gives a good gauge regarding various risk factors. One of the first steps in a macular degeneration self-check is to first stop, recognize, or repair the risk factors which include:

  • Being female
  • Increased age
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Being of European descent/Caucasian
  • A family history of macular degeneration
  • High blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease

Although many of these risk factors cannot be changed, three of them can, smoking, sunlight exposure, hypertension (high blood pressure).

What to Look For

Whether or not you fall into any of the risk zones it is still important to stay vigilant when it comes to healthy vision. There are several indicators of macular degeneration progression which you may be able to detect.

These are the major, early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD):

  • Chronically blurred vision
  • Trouble distinguishing colors
  • Difficulty maneuvering fine details
  • Bright light to low-light vision challenges
  • Increasing bright light to see things up close

If you experience any of these symptoms visit your eye doctor right away. Whether you are diagnosed as having macular degeneration or not, practicing pro-active steps to protect your vision from developing this disease or slowing its progression may significantly help.

Vision Protection and Prevention

With 2.1 million people globally afflicted by AMD you just may be able to stave off being part of this stat yourself. Now that you know the risk factors you can avoid, these vision protection and prevention tips have good research behind them which could keep your eyesight healthy for years to come.

Eye Exams

For some reason many people neglect regular eye exams and yet have no trouble getting the oil changed in their car or switching to a new smartphone. Don’t ignore your vision and have it checked by a professional at least once per year.

According to Rahul N. Khurana, clinical spokesperson of the American Academy of Ophthalmology,

“While new treatments and technologies are helping patients keep more of their vision than ever before, early detection remains your best defense against AMD. Get a baseline, comprehensive exam at age 40. After age 65, get an exam every one to two years, even if you have no symptoms. Your good vision depends on it.”

Stop Smoking

Studies show rapid AMD progression linked to smoking cigarettes. Dr. Neil Bressler  an ophthalmologist with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine cited a study to Reuters Health in a 2014 report. The study collected data over a twenty year period from 4,439 participants who smoked and found a 36% greater risk for developing or advancing AMD.

Dr. Bressler commented,

“This study and other studies suggest that the cigarette smoking may increase the chance of macular degeneration worsening, which in turn, can increase the chance of losing central vision,”

E-cigarettes may be a good alternative toward a path to smoking cessation and are being studied as a safe AMD substitute to those who cannot quit.

Eat for Sight

There are many foods loaded with essential antioxidants that have been found to travel to the retina and strengthen visual functioning. Dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, collard greens, spinach) are amongst the highly rated foods which contain specific antioxidants such lutein and zeaxanthin. Also, colorful vegetables and fresh fruits hold essential carotenoids, also linked to battling AMD.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the study ‘Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow-up’ which concluded that,

“Higher intake of bioavailable lutein/zeaxanthin is associated with a long-term reduced risk of advanced AMD. Given that some other carotenoids are also associated with a lower risk, a public health strategy aimed at increasing dietary consumption of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids may reduce the incidence of advanced AMD.” 


Blocking UV light could prevent AMD development. A research article published in Harvard University’s Health Publications, stated,

“Our eyes are most vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet rays in our teens, 20s, and 30s, although the damage usually doesn’t show up until later in life.” Look for design that are polarized with anti-reflective coating.


There are many eye support vitamins and mineral supplements out there. According to the second Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2), for well researched, AMD prevention, it is recommended that you take a supplemental formula containing:

  • 500 mg of vitamin C
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 25 mg zinc as zinc oxide
  • 2 mg copper as cupric oxide
  • 10 mg lutein
  • 2 mg zeaxanthin

A word on zinc regarding the first AREDS study. According to a report by the American Optometric Association,

“The landmark Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), sponsored by the National Eye Institute, established that AMD is linked to nutrition. The study showed that individuals at high risk for AMD could slow the progression of advanced AMD by about 25 percent and visual acuity loss by 19 percent by taking 40-80 mg/day of zinc, along with certain antioxidants.”

Cut the Carbs

Anytime you see someone who obviously lost weight chances are they immediately say they cut the carbs. This is because we are surrounded by so many refined foods that have been so overly processed that the carbohydrates are super high in compact forms.

Reducing or eliminating culprits like pasta, rice and bread may significantly improve your health, including lessening your chances of developing macular degeneration.

Primal Source News reported that,

“A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that a diet high in refined carbohydrates increases a person’s risk of developing macular degeneration. Highly refined foods like white breads, cookies, crackers, cereals (most processed foods, really) have a high glycemic index, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar and insulin release.”

High levels of insulin from a high glycemic diet has been linked to AMD. The National Institutes of Health stated,

“Previous population studies have found that a high glycemic diet is associated with AMD onset and progress. Carbohydrates with a high glycemic load, such as white bread, can be quickly digested and so cause spikes in blood sugar. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic load, such as whole-grain bread, take longer to digest. Their digestion involves gut bacteria, collectively known as the microbiome.”

These macular degeneration self-check and prevention tips could be all you need to stop or slow this disease before it takes your vision.

Next story…

Michigan Medical Doctor Creates Vision Vitamin After Diagnosed with Age Related Macular Degeneration

A medical doctor from Michigan who was diagnosed with age related macular degeneration has created his own vision vitamin, and you can now try it for FREE for a limited time.

The doctor says, “I remember the day like it was yesterday … It was June 4, 2004 when a good friend and colleague of mine said, ‘My dear friend you have the early stages of macular degeneration.’  My heart nearly skipped a beat.  As a physician I knew that this was serious and I wanted to do everything in my power to save my vision, which put me on a journey to create my own vision vitamin.”

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