Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Risk Factors and Prevention

25 Oct 2023Eye Health & General Information

Age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD, is an eye condition we’ve discussed before. In brief, this is when the central region of your retina, the macula, suffers damage and impairs your vision.

Typically, macular degeneration is indicated by a loss or reduction in central vision. This often leads to people with it having clearer side or peripheral vision, as a result.

AMD is the term for the condition when the deterioration in the macula happens due to age-related factors, as is often the case for people with macular degeneration in their sixth decade of life and beyond.

Because this is a progressive eye condition that can lead to severe vision loss, it’s important to be proactive about decreasing the risk of AMD occurring, or halting it early once it has begun. Today, we’ll help you do that by going over the age-related macular degeneration risk factors and prevention options

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What can raise the odds of getting age-related macular degeneration?

While there is no definite way to prevent AMD, there are things that can be avoided, so as to decrease the chance of it occurring to you. Risk factors that increase the chance of you developing AMD include:

  • Age is the first and most obvious risk factor. The older we get, the more of our cells start deteriorating without repairing or replacing themselves, and macular degeneration is no exception. 
  • A family history of macular degeneration has also been shown to increase your chances of getting the condition.
  • Smoking is a risk factor too, believed to be because of the oxidative stress on the body and causes damage.
  • Obesity has been observed to have a high correlation with AMD occurrence.

Cardiovascular diseases have also been found to increase the odds of AMD development.

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How can you prevent age-related macular degeneration?

While there are no treatments to cure AMD, there are a number of options available to stop the progression of the condition.

Of course, you want to start with regular eye screening. This is because you won’t even know that you have to take steps to avoid vision loss if you don’t notice that there’s something wrong!

At Shinagawa Eye Centre, we can perform comprehensive assessments and screen you for possible eye issues, including AMD. Don’t be afraid to contact us if you want to get checked for it or other eye problems

Now, if you do want to lower the risk of developing AMD, try the following:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Try to get a lot of antioxidant-rich vegetables, in particular, as previous clinical trials have linked antioxidant-rich supplements containing vitamins and minerals with a marked reduction in the risk of dry AMD progressing into the worse wet AMD. 
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle with adequate exercise. Keeping your body in good shape seems to both reduce the risk of AMD and the chances of it becoming worse.
  • Quit smoking. We already noted it as a risk factor, but just for reference, smokers are up to four times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers.

Get screened for AMD and other eye problems today

AMD can be a serious issue, especially if left untreated and allowed to progress into grave vision loss. Fortunately, a good eye screening can identify it ahead of time and give you options.

Call us to enquire or book an appointment for age-related macular degeneration screening or treatment. Our eye doctors will be happy to assess you and come up with a plan for addressing AMD if you do have it.