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Macular Degeneration – Are You At Risk?

Age Related Macular Degeneration

So exactly what is macular degeneration?  Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.  Most often, it’s an age related disease, and is often referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration.  This disease affects over 13 million people in America.

What does it do?  Macular Degeneration slowly breaks down the macula, the light-sensitive area of the retina, which gives you sharp and clear vision.  Because this is a mostly age related disease, people over 65 years are affected more.  However, macular degeneration can, and does affect people at all ages.  So it’s a good idea to keep your eyes healthy now.

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Macular degeneration causes a slow loss of vision, and often, you’re not even aware of it for a period of time.  Here are some sign of macular degeneration:

  • You see a fuzzy or blurry area in your central vision.
  • Your vision seems fuzzy or blurry.
  • Straight lines look wavy to you.

Currently, it is unknown exactly what causes macular degeneration.  It is known that:

  • This disease tends to run in families.
  • Macular degeneration is age related.
  • Smoking and drinking increases your risk for this disease.

Macular Degeneration Treatment & Prevention

The best prevention method known is getting enough of the essential nutrients.  Vitamins A, C, and E reduce your risk for macular degeneration, and also slow down its progress if you’re already affected.

Quit Smoking and Drinking

If you smoke or drink, you are putting your eyes at health risks, not to mention the rest of your body.  Smoking increases free radicals in your body (free radicals are volatile molecules that can make you sick, and ironically, your body uses them to kill toxins and germs.)

Studies have shown that people who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day are 300% more likely to lose their vision than people who didn’t smoke.  Smoking also depletes vitamin A, C in your body.  Why’s this bad?  Vitamin A and C are very important antioxidants that control free radicals in your body.

Drink too much alcohol also affects your eyesight.  Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenes that help reduce you risk for eye health problems.  Studies have found that people who drink heavily have less Lutein and Zeaxanthin.  So by drinking a lot of alcohol, you’re also putting your eyesight at risk.

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