As the average age of the Canadian population continues to rise due to the large number of baby boomers, we need to start paying attention to age-related diseases and look at ways we can prevent them. Eye-sight is one of the senses that many people take for granted, but what if you started to lose your vision as you aged? Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment in individuals over 65 years of age in developed nations
As the average age of the Canadian population continues to rise due to the large number of baby boomers, we need to start paying attention to age-related diseases and look at ways we can prevent them. Eye-sight is one of the senses that many people take for granted, but what if you started to lose your vision as you aged? Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment in individuals over 65 years of age in developed nations. If you’re over 60 years old, it’s time to start looking for some anti-aging tips to help fight off eye disease.
Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that occurs when there are changes to the macula, which is a small portion of the retina in the inside of the back layer of the eye. AMD causes loss of central vision. Common symptoms of AMD include: a gradual loss of the ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision and a dark area around the centre of your vision. There are two types of AMD – (1) dry, most people will notice changes in their vision because the dry type develops slowly and (2) wet, which occurs quickly and may lead to a loss of central vision in both eyes. Central vision that is lost due to AMD is unable to be corrected; however, devices can be used to enhance any vision capability that remains. Contact your optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately if you begin to experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Now that you know what age-related macular degeneration is, you can learn anti-aging tips that will help you to prevent and slow the progression of eye diseases, including AMD.
Regular Eye Check-Ups
Visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist regularly as part of your anti-aging routine. Regular visits will help to determine if you’re at risk of developing AMD. Also, if you already have AMD, your eye doctor will catch it early and can suggest anti-aging tips that will help to slow the progression of the eye disease.
Don’t Smoke (and quit if you do!)
One of the most common anti-aging tips is to stop smoking. Quitting smoking has many anti-aging health benefits including eye protection. Individuals who smoke are twice as likely to develop AMD compared to their non-smoking counterparts. The earlier you quit, the better as the increased risk of developing AMD lasts for many years after you quit.
Making changes to your diet is a simple anti-aging step that can be taken to prevent and slow the progression of AMD. Studies have shown that a diet that is high in beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and Vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing early AMD. The benefit of these diet changes is especially true for individuals who have an inherited tendency to develop AMD. Eat a diet that is full of dark, leafy green vegetables (such as spinach). Adding nuts as well as plenty of fruits to your diet has been shown to help prevent AMD. Consuming fish will add vital omega-3 fatty acids to your diet which can help to prevent AMD. Try to limit harmful fats in your diet. If you consume too much saturated fat and cholesterol regularly, you increase the risk of existing AMD getting worse. Supplementing your diet with antioxidants and zinc may be another helpful anti-aging tip. If you consume a diet that is rich in vitamins, you may slow the progression of AMD and delay vision loss. Check with your doctor prior to adding supplements to your diet as there may be side effects that need to be discussed.
If you want to protect your eyes from disease, follow the anti-aging tips mentioned above. They’re simple changes that will help with anti-aging, particularly of your eyes. And while you may take your eye sight for granted, if it were gone, you would miss it so why not minimize the risk?