With life expectancy figures continuing to climb, managing eye disease is essential for people to maintain healthy, happy and productive lives. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 50. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention estimate that 1.8 million people have the disease and another 7.3 million are at risk for vision loss from AMD. But there is action you can take to help prevent your risk of vision loss.
The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown but it may be related to aging, hereditary factors, smoking and exposure to high levels of ultraviolet radiation and blue light, both found in sunlight. Your lifestyle can play a role in reducing your risk of developing AMD and other eye diseases.
The AOA recommends that individuals:
eat a low-fat balanced diet rich in green, leafy vegetables, or ask their optometrist about dietary supplements;
wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet radiation;
keep blood pressure under control;
avoid or stop smoking.