Macular degeneration refers to the condition that strikes almost everyone at some point in life, especially over age 50. This condition is the most common cause of vision loss in adults, and it is really hard to avoid! As we age, our eyes naturally deteriorate, making it very difficult to see clearly.
Think there is nothing you can do about it? Wrong! Read below to find out about some natural remedies and vitamins that are great treatments for macular degeneration.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. This condition eats away at the macula, which is the part of the eye that is responsible for helping us see clearly. Macular degeneration can occur very slowly over a long period of time for some people.
For others, it is much quicker and can create drastic changes in their vision. Although your vision can become highly impaired, you will not go completely blind from macular degeneration.
There are actually two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. Dry AMD is very common and occurs when your central vision begins to break down and become fuzzy. Wet AMD is much more severe, but also less common. This is when blood vessels grow under the macula and leak fluid.
This leakage causes the macula to swell, which in turn causes more rapid vision loss. Although wet macular degeneration can be slowed, there is less you can do to stop this particular form of AMD.
If you notice that you have a blind spot, you may have wet macular degeneration – in which case, you should definitely see an eye care professional as well as take steps to take care of your vision on your own.
Who is at a Higher Risk?
You are at a higher risk for macular degeneration if you are over age 50. Additional risk factors include smoking, race, and family history. Smoking increases your risk, so consider stopping this habit, especially if you are over age 50. Additionally, if you are Caucasian, you are more likely than other races to develop this condition.
Finally, those with a family history of macular degeneration are predisposed to getting the condition themselves. Since there is nothing you can do about three of the four risk factors, take control by not smoking, taking the right vitamins if you do smoke, and altering your diet to ensure that you get the right nutrients to prevent macular degeneration.
You can also make some other lifestyle changes in order to prevent getting macular degeneration. These changes include exercising, ensuring your cholesterol and blood pressure levels are normal, and eating a healthy diet. Make sure you diet includes lots of green vegetables and fish!
Vitamins for Macular Degeneration
Vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, and beta carotene are all necessary nutrients for preventing and treating macular degeneration. If you want to reduce your chances of developing the condition, consider taking a supplement or changing your daily diet – remember that eating lots of leafy green vegetables is very important to treating macular degeneration.
You can get vitamin C from spinach, oranges, strawberries, peppers, and other fruits and vegetables. You can also get very effective supplements for vitamin C. Vitamin E can be found in almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, broccoli, spinach, and mango.
Some good sources of zinc include beef, oysters, dark meat chicken, low-fat milk, oatmeal, yogurt, and cashews. Shellfish, beans, nuts, potatoes, and whole grains are all excellent sources of copper. Finally, you can get beta carotene from carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, turnip greens, and cabbage.
As long as you are eating a diet full of the healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean meats listed above, then you will be much less likely to develop macular degeneration when you are older.
You can also speak to your doctor about taking special supplements that are formulated for those with macular degeneration – these supplements have been specially formulated with higher levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc, and copper.
Other Options to Prevent Macular Degeneration
You can also check out our list of 17 recommended vitamins, minerals, and herbs for overall eye health. Your best option for preventing or treating macular degeneration is a combination of a great diet and vitamin supplements. Our eyes are so precious to us, yet they can deteriorate so easily. Ensure you are protecting and caring for your eyes properly, it only takes a few minutes every day!