Macular degeneration

In Macular Degeneration, the retina at the back of the eye slowly degenerates. It affects mainly the sensitive central area of the retina (the macula), so as it progresses sharp central vision is lost. Macular Degeneration typically affects those over 60, and family history or certain medical conditions can increase the risk.

The eye

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and affects 1 in 7 people over the age of 50. Symptoms may include distortion, difficulty reading, difficulty distinguishing faces, dark patches or empty spaces, poor night vision and decreased colour sensitivity.

Early detection is key and might provide you with options to slow down progression. Do not dismiss poor vision as a part of getting old!

Research suggests that diet may play a role in reducing the risk of Macular Degeneration. Spinach and Kale contain an ingredient that is protective against Macular Degeneration. Omega-3 fish oil also seems to be beneficial. Conversely, processed fats and smoking increase the risk.

Over the last few years there have been new treatments with laser therapy and intraocular medication that helps certain forms of macular degeneration.

What can you do to reduce your risk of macular degeneration?

  • Have regular eye examinations.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthy. Eat fish two to three times per week and eat kale or other dark leaf vegetables daily.
  • Consider a Macular Degeneration dietary supplement in consultation with your Doctor or Optometrist.
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight.
  • Take the Amsler Grid test.

For more information on Macular Degeneration visit Macular Degeneration New Zealand.

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