Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects millions of people each year, particularly those over the age of 60. It causes vision loss in the center of your visual field, affecting your ability to see details clearly and perform everyday tasks like reading and driving.
While there is no cure for AMD, you can reduce its progression by consulting an optometrist and making dietary changes that may help slow it down.
What Is AMD?
AMD is an eye disease that affects the central portion of your retina, known as the macula. This area of your eye helps you see details clearly, and without it, vision loss can occur.
Common symptoms include blurriness in one or both eyes, dark spots in your vision and a decrease in color perception. AMD can be classified into two categories: wet AMD and dry AMD.
- Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels form behind the retina, which can leak fluid or bleed into the area, resulting in rapid damage to your central vision.
- Dry AMD is caused by thinning layers of tissue beneath the retina due to aging, which leads to a slow but progressive deterioration of central vision over time.
How Diet Affects the Development and Progression of AMD
Studies have shown that certain dietary components may play a role in either increasing or decreasing our risk of developing AMD.
Research suggests that those who consume diets high in saturated fats, trans fats and processed foods are more likely to develop this condition than those who eat healthier diets with higher amounts of fruits, vegetables and fish oil supplements.
In addition, people with vitamin A or E deficiencies may be at an increased risk for developing this condition as well. It’s important to get enough essential vitamins from food sources whenever possible.
Foods That Help
There are several foods you should consider adding to your diet if you want to help reduce the progression of AMD.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — has been found beneficial since these foods contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin help protect against oxidative damage associated with this condition.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is another great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can also help protect against inflammation associated with age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Finally, eating fresh fruits such as blueberries has been linked to reducing levels of cholesterol, which helps keep arteries clear and contributes to healthy eyes.
Foods to Avoid
Processed snacks filled with saturated fats should generally be avoided to prevent AMD. Examples of these include:
- Anything deep fried like french fries or chips made from potato starch
- Processed meats including sausages and hot dogs
- Refined sugars found in sweetened drinks, cakes and pastries
- Too much alcohol can also increase the risk of AMD
Reduce the Risk of AMD With Insight Vision Center Optometry in Costa Mesa, CA
AMD is a serious eye condition that can lead to vision loss. However, certain dietary changes can help slow down its progression. For more information on how you can protect your eyesight in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA, visit Insight Vision Center Optometry. We offer various eye care treatments including orthokeratology or ortho-k. Contact us at (714) 486-3315 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.