AMD Awareness Month: 5 Useful Tips to Prevent AMD
This February is AMD Awareness Month, so make sure your eyes are healthy! Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the main reason for vision loss in Australia’s elderly
population. Let us learn more facts about AMD, so we can address its risk and help avert it.
AMD in a nutshell:
This disease leads to blurring of the central vision as a result of destruction in the macula — a small part at the back of the eye controlling sharp, fine sight and colour vision. AMD affects about 1 in every 7 Australians over the age of 50. It can interfere with daily activities such as watching TV, driving, reading and recognising faces.
Two kinds of AMD:
1. Wet AMD – This happens when blood vessels grow below the macula and begin to break and leak as well as the accumulation of fatty or waste deposits known as “drusen” at the macula.
2. Dry AMD – This occurs when there is continuous accumulation of fatty or waste deposits known as “drusen” at the macula.
Currently, there is no known cure for AMD although there are some treatments for wet AMD to help prevent further damage and vision loss. Prevention is always better than cure, so we prepared 5 useful tips to help you avoid AMD:
1. Stop smoking, be active, and adopt healthy eating habits
Quit smoking for the sake of your eyes! Cigarette smoke contains dangerous toxins that damage the retina’s fragile cells, which will significantly raise the risk of developing AMD.
You are also not giving yourself any favours by living a sedentary lifestyle. Try being active and walking at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes; this will help you maintain healthy body weight.
Lastly, include dark-green, leafy veggies, fresh fruits, and fish in your daily diet; these are all abundant with antioxidants that nourish your eyes.
2. Be familiar with the symptoms
Educating yourself about AMD’s common symptoms is essential as it prompts early discovery, allowing you to manage it competently.
The most frequent symptoms are:
- Blurry or darkness in the centre of your vision
- Difficulty when reading
- Difficulty recognising faces
- Altered or wavy lines that should be straight
- Poor colour perception
3. Check your family history
Study your family tree and ask family members to find out if you have first-degree relatives with AMD. If so, you may have a greater risk of incurring it, so be wary of potential symptoms and don’t hesitate to get advice from our Gold Coast optometrists.
4. Wear sunglasses
UV rays from the sun can damage the retinal cells at the back of your eyes. To combat this, ensure you wear sunglasses whenever you are exposed to sunlight. Here at Vision Eye Health, we can help you find the perfect pair of sunglasses that provide great protection against harmful UV rays.
5. Undergo eye exams regularly
Seeing an optometrist for regular eye checks can help ensure AMD is detected at an early stage, giving you the best chance to prevent vision loss by making lifestyle changes early on and getting treatment before too much irreversible damage is done. The older population may have a higher risk of getting AMD, but remember that it is fundamental to follow these tips even as a young adult, especially if you have a family history of AMD, so that you can stay on top of your eye health.
For more queries about AMD or other eye-related concerns, schedule a consultation at https://www.visioneyehealthgoldcoast.com.au/ or connect with us through our social media pages. Together we can take the first steps toward preserving your precious eyesight!