Lifestyle factors like how much you weigh and how much you drink can play a big role in how healthy you are. New research suggests they may also be important to how well, and how long you see.
A study published last year suggested that moderate to heavy drinking, as well as poor diet and excess weight, can increase the odds for age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.
AMD is a condition that threatens sight and is the most common cause of blindness in Americans over 50. It is a degenerative condition that damages the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision. When sufficient damage occurs, it can make things like driving, reading, or seeing faces clearly, difficult.
Previous studies have shown that certain lifestyle choices may work to prevent AMD.
Researchers analyzed seven earlier studies about the relationship between booze and AMD for the new findings. They concluded that drinking could contribute to vision loss.
AMD currently affects more than two million Americans, but that number is expected to more than double by 2050.
If you want to hold onto your vision as best you can, it is worthwhile to focus on factors in your control. Some of the things that can reduce your risk include:
- Limiting alcohol consumption. Sticking to a maximum of one (for women) or two (for men) standard drinks per day.
- Eating a nutrient-rich diet high in leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and fatty fish.
- Managing body weight and heart health. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease are all risk factors for AMD. Exercise can help get these conditions under control.
- Quitting smoking.
- Visiting an ophthalmologist.
Healthy lifestyle factors can pay off across the board. By trying your best to live healthily, you may preserve better vision for longer.