Macular degeneration is a common eye disease which usually affects older adult and results in a loss of vision. It is a medical condition in which the central portion of the retina deteriorates and does not function adequately. This diseases mainly takes place in adults therefore it is also known as age-related macular degeneration that is (AMD) or sometimes in rare cases it affects to younger as well. Usually this disease develops among people after the age of 50 and if left untreated, may contribute to permanent loss of vision. In this disease adults face difficulty in reading newspapers, recognizing faces and other daily activities. The macula is built by millions of light-sensing cells and it is one of the important parts of eyes that provide sharp vision. Macula is most responsive part of retina and is located at the back of the eye. The Advance AMD is divided in two forms that is dry and wet form. The dry form (Geographic atrophy) is often considered the late stage of advance AMD. The dry form of condition is responsible for hardly 10 to 20% blindness. The wet form of AMD (Neovascular or exudative) is quite risky as it leads to rapid loss of vision. It causes due to abnormal growth of blood vessels behind the retina. The leakage and bleeding from blood vessels eventually lead to damage cells and thereby causes rapid loss of vision. In short, in dry form people experience gradual loss where as in wet form experiences rapid loss of central vision.
Signs of macular degeneration:-
• Blurred central and distant vision: – until both eyes are affected badly this condition leaves patient unaware about disease because the other one covers damage.
• Need brighter light to read.
• Objects Appears smaller in one eye than other or words in newspaper or book may become unclear.
• Difficulty in recognizing colors especially between light and dark colors.
• Objects may appear in different shape, size and color to different eye.
Possible causes and risk factors of macular degeneration:-
• Family history
• Excessive Fat intake
• Deficiency of vitamin D
• Consumption of alcohol and cigarette
• Diet rich in saturated Fat
• Exposure to sunlight
TIPS TO PREVENT MACULAR DEGENERATION NATURALLY
1) Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol:- Research indicates that smokers are up to five times more likely than non-smokers to have macular degeneration. The habit of smoking and drinking alcohol is extremely harmful for overall heath. Consumption of both can easily make worse the condition of person suffering from macular degeneration. Hence, it is essential for person who is chronic smoker or drinker to quit both habit immediately. In addition, regular exercising can play a key role in preventing the onset of this degenerative disease. Besides that, maintain a diet that is high in vitamins and low in cholesterol can also be beneficial to ensure that the health of the person is in pristine condition.
2) Consume plenty of green leafy vegetables:- Research has found those people who consume vegetables rich in carotenoids (lutein and zexanthin) had a 43 per cent lower risk of developing age related macular degeneration. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, and broccoli are contains rich source of carotenoids and antioxidants. These vegetables are not favored among children as they do not provide crunchy taste like fast food. The high content of antioxidant present in these vegetables helps to protect retina from free radical damage. Hence, keep the diseases of AMD and cataracts at bay. In fact all these leafy green vegetables are associated substantially to reduce the risk of developing AMD.
3) Take preventive nutrition supplements:- Studies indicate that nutrients play a crucial role in helping to maintain vision in people who are at risk of developing advance AMD. Rich source of antioxidant, vitamins and zinc associated to reduce the risk of AMD and vision loss. These nutrients are essential to slow the progression of these diseases. Doctors often recommend multivitamin supplements in tables or capsule forms which help to prevent the onset of this chronic condition. However these capsules may not contain trace amount zinc. Hence, it is better to obtain nutrients from natural sources like leafy green vegetable and fish. In addition, Daily consumption of carrot can also be a great option as it holds an excellent source of beta-carotene, antioxidant and vitamin A. These nutrients are considered beneficial for good eyesight and keep the diseases of night blindness, cataract and AMD at bay. People should also consume food rich in antioxidant, vitamin C, A & E as it delay the onset of macular degeneration.
4) Eat more fish to prevent AMD:- Fish in your diet can be a great source to have less risk of developing advance AMD by 45 per cent as compared with those who consume least amount of fish.
• Salmons: – It includes high content of omega-3 fatty acids and this nutrient consider beneficial for proper functioning of eye. This nutrient is found in large quantity in salmons only as compare to other fish or seafood. Hence, daily intake of this fish helps to protect the tiny blood vessels in eyes. Besides that, daily one chicken egg is helpful for adults as it is loaded with antioxidant lutein to lower the risk of AMD without raising cholesterol level.
• Oysters: – Oysters holds considerable source of zinc mineral than any other food source like pork or beef. Zink is one kind of mineral which improves vision as well as enhances immune system. The major benefit of this zinc rich food is that it is good for eyesight.
5) Have Regular eye check-up:- Regular eye check-up is vital to ensure that they are functioning properly or not. Because at the initial stage the symptoms are not so clear so many times patient avoid visiting ophthalmologist. This becomes the major reason of onset of AMD. Hence it is important to have check-up for at least 2 to 3 times for the age between 45 and 60 and after 60 years every year check-up is necessary. Due to regular eye check-up disease can be identified at earliest.
6) Keep control over diabetes and blood pressure:- It is necessary to keep a check on other diseases of diabetes and blood pressure that a person may suffer. Cholesterol is a fatty substance which builds up blood vessels and conquers the blood flow necessary for maintaining for health of eye tissue. Hence controlling cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure may reduce the risk of complications that lead to develop AMD.
7) Other remedies:- • Eat more fruits and nuts daily • Reduce polished carbohydrates in diet. • Wear sunglasses to protect from UV and Blue light.