Understanding how to prevent macular degeneration

Most people know that cataracts become prevalent with age, but age related macular degeneration (AMD) is another eye disease that can be just as devastating. AMD is a condition that affects up to 11 million Americans, and since the disease can cause irreversible vision loss, it is important that people are aware of how to prevent it. Macular degeneration can be prevented by avoiding the known risk factors.

AMDis the result of the decline that takes place in the macula over time. The macula is located in the retina and is responsible for central vision tasks such as reading. The macula often declines because of the hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina. For some people with macular degeneration the loss of central vision distorts images, while others are no longer able to perform activities such as driving and reading.

If you want to know how to prevent macular degeneration, then you should endeavor to avoid the associated risk factors.

  • Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to AMD. The free radicals that emerge due to the interaction of oxygen and the environment negatively impact the retina, which is heavily dependent on oxygen. The risk of oxidative stress can be reduced by consuming foods rich in anti-oxidants, taking supplements designed to fight oxidative stress, and engaging in regular exercise.


  • High blood pressure is another AMD risk factor. Studies carried out have indicated a link between the drugs prescribed for high blood pressure, and the likelihood of developing AMD.


  • Smoking, inflammation, high cholesterol, and having a family history of ADM, can also put one at risk for the disease.

If you live in or around Reston, VA and need information on how to prevent macular degeneration, then contact ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at New View Eye Center.

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