Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects over 15 million Americans. The disease attacks the macula of the eye, which is responsible for the central field of vision. AMD causes partial blindness and can take away the ability to drive, read and recognize faces. Though the exact cause of AMD isn’t known, it’s believed that a variety of factors – age, smoking, obesity and family history – can put a person more at risk.
If you have been diagnosed with AMD, you might be wondering if there are any ways that you can reverse damage or prevent more from occurring. Let’s find out.
What We Know About Preventing and Treating AMD
At this time, there is no known cure for AMD. Be wary of supplements or “cures” for macular degeneration, as no one has the complete answer. The good news is that scientific research supports that diet and nutrition can promote good eye health. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can make a difference, and it’s never too late to start.
Here is what we know so far.
● People who eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables have a lower incidence of AMD.
● Dark, green leafy vegetables are most helpful for protecting eye health.
● People who eat three servings of fish each week have a lower rate of AMD.
● People who eat a lot of saturated fats have a higher rate of AMD.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do to possibly reverse and further protect age-related macular degeneration.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables – and Lots of ‘Em!
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, and these antioxidants are what protect against oxidation, a part of the AMD process. Dark, leafy greens are most beneficial because they contain the antioxidant lutein. Some of the best veggies to include in your diet are kale, collard greens, mustard greens and spinach.
Also aim for brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as peppers, oranges and mangoes. The purpose of eating a lot of different colors is to get a wide range of nutrients into your diet.
Eat Fish Three Times a Week
Fish is beneficial to eye health because of omega-3s, which are healthy fats that seem to be vital in protecting eye and heart health. Some fish are better than others, such as salmon, tuna or sardines. If you don’t like fish, you can get omega-3s from nuts or supplements.
Watch Your Fats
Saturated fats, particularly those in animal products, can do more harm than good. Watch the fat that you are getting from meat and dairy products, as well as baked goods (coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil).
Ask About Supplements
If you have been diagnosed with AMD, talk to your doctor or eye specialist about taking supplements such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, zinc, copper and beta carotene. This formula has been effective at slowing progression and vision loss in some AMD patients.
Being diagnosed with an eye condition like AMD is scary, but there are eye specialists that can help you successfully manage the disease. Empire Retina specializes in eye diseases and continues to exceed patient expectations with cutting-edge technology and treatment techniques. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your eye health.