4 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Age-Related Blindness

Mar 09, 2023
4 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Age-Related Blindness
Roughly 20 million people in the United States live with some form of age-related macular degeneration. See how you can lower your risk of this disease.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a significant cause of blindness worldwide and one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness for Americans aged 65 or older. 

If you’re concerned about age-related blindness, talk to ophthalmologist Cory Bergman, MD, in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Casper, Wyoming, for ways to help reduce your risk. Dr. Bergman offers the following informative advice on how to prevent and help any age-related blindness.

Types of age-related macular degeneration 

There are two types of AMD: Wet Macular Degeneration and Dry Macular Degeneration. Dry AMD is a more common and less severe disease. It causes blurred or reduced central vision due to the breaking down of the inner layers of the macula, the section in the eye's retina that gives clear vision in the direct line of sight.

Dry AMD can turn into Wet, a more severe but rarer disease typically caused by leaky blood vessels that release blood or fluid into the macula. 

Causes and effects of age-related macular degeneration

 Unfortunately, one factor you can't change is your age. Many people 50 and up are already at higher risk of AMD. However, there are other ways to increase your chances that you may not know. Smoking, having high blood pressure, and eating a high-saturated-fat diet can all lead to a higher risk of AMD. 

 AMD destroys the sharp, central vision needed to see clearly. If you suffer from AMD, it can negatively impact daily activities such as reading words from a computer, phone, or newspaper. Other effects include a lack of ability to see when driving and watching television. 

If you're looking to reduce the risk of AMD, several things can help:

  1. Stop smoking

Cutting this unhealthy habit does a lot of good for your body, including helping your eyesight! People who smoke are up to four times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers. 

  1. Eat green leafy veggies

Say goodbye to your saturated fat diet and hello to healthy, green vegetables that contain tons of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper. These nutrients may slow the progression of AMD from the earlier stages to the later stages. 

  1. Lower your cholesterol 

Not only can this help lower your risk for AMD, but it can also help prevent the dry form of the disease from progressing to the wet form, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Along with a healthy diet, it's important to keep active. Go for a walk, go to the gym, ride a bike, or do anything that gets your body moving!

To learn more about AMD and how to prevent it, call the nearest office or book your appointment online today.