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The American Macular Degeneration Foundation encourages people to increase their awareness of macular degeneration. This eye condition is preventable. But keeping it at bay will need effort and discipline. Here are the details that you must consider to determine the ways of preventing macular degeneration.
Free radicals attack your body every day. The only way to fight them off or repair the cell damage they cause is to take in more antioxidants. Normal, healthy cells can stay as they are when antioxidants donate electrons to invading free radicals. This reduces oxidative stress. Macular degeneration makes your retina vulnerable to oxidative stress. This happens because it takes in more oxygen from your blood.
An antioxidant-rich diet can reduce the stress that causes permanent damage to the macula. It also helps the body get rid of the injured cells from the affected eye. You can get more antioxidants from foods that are rich in zeaxanthin, lutein, and anthocyanin. Broccoli, pumpkin, and dark green leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Studies show that an Asian diet can lower your risk of developing macular degeneration.
Research shows that smoking contributes to significant vision loss from macular degeneration. This habit speeds up this condition’s progression. It also decreases the effectiveness of the treatments. That is why you should stop smoking as early as now.
Slowing down or stopping the progression of macular degeneration is possible by eating fewer refined sugars. Foods that have a high glycemic index can spike your blood glucose levels. They can also result in a significant fall in blood glucose levels once you eat or drink them. Drastic blood sugar fluctuations can result in severe inflammation in your body.
Consuming complex carbohydrates instead can lower your risk of macular degeneration. These carbohydrates have more fiber. They tend to break down at a slower rate in your intestines. When this happens, your body does not experience blood glucose fluctuations. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are complex carbohydrates.
It can help if you take the time to read the labels on the foods and drinks before you buy them. Doing so can inform you of their glycemic index. Less than 55 should be your target. An index of 70 is already too high. Some apps can guide you in choosing your low-glycemic foods and drinks.
High blood pressure tends to restrict blood flow to the choroid, which is the vascular layer of your eye. A significant loss of oxygenated blood can speed up the development of macular degeneration. Studies show that hypertension medications can lower the risk of this eye disease by about 25 percent. Lifestyle changes can also lower your blood pressure. Regular exercise and weight loss can help reduce your weight and decrease the severity of this disease.
Intense exposure to UV rays when you go out can damage your retina. This speeds up macular degeneration. It also contributes to cataract formation. Wearing sunglasses with a UV rating of 400 can block up to 400 nanometers of UV rays. You should wear your sunglasses even if it is a cloudy day.
Preventing macular degeneration can help you see clearly as you age. At Primary Eye Care, we always guide our patients in their journey toward better eye health. Please visit our clinic in Tupelo, Mississippi, for an in-person consultation. Call us at 662-200-9842 to set an appointment or ask about our macular degeneration treatment packages.