Dr. Jim Martin 10/04/2013

5003145-1.jpgMacular degeneration is a chronic disease of the eye that will cause loss of vision in the center of your field of vision. It is like having a hole in your vision. People who suffer from this disease still have peripheral vision and therefore can still lead their everyday lives. 

Macular degeneration comes in two varieties; they are wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration is defined by the destruction of the center of the retina, the macula. Wet macular degeneration is characterized by blood vessels that leak blood and fluid under the retina.

Who Is At Risk To Get Macular Degeneration?

The risk of contracting macular degeneration increases as you move past the age of 40. It is most common in people over 65 years of age. Genetic predisposition plays a big part in who gets the disease and who doesn't. You will be more likely to contract this disease if someone in your family has had it as well. It is also more common in the Caucasian race than any other.

Smoking cigarettes greatly increases your chances of contracting the macular degeneration. Eating poorly and being severely overweight will also put you in a higher risk category for the disease.

What Kind Of Treatment Is Available?

Currently there is no treatment that will totally reverse macular degeneration. However, this does not mean that you will lose 100% of your eyesight. This disease progresses fairly slowly and most people can live a normal life with the disease, especially if only one eye is affected.

According to the National Eye Institute, taking a combination of vitamins and zinc may slow down the progression of the disease. They have used a combination of vitamins C and  E along with zinc, copper, and lutein to treat patients with the disease. Taking this combination will not reverse the disease but it will slow its progression and if you have only one eye that is affected it may reduce the risk encountering any type of vision loss in the unaffected eye.

Is There A Way To Prevent from Getting Macular Degeneration?

There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of getting this disease.

First and foremost, make sure you get routine eye exams. A thorough eye exam can determine if you have the beginning stages of this disease. Ask your eye doctor how often she recommends you have exams. Leading a healthier lifestyle will also help.

Stop smoking. Smokers are far more likely to contract the disease than non-smokers. Maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce your risk. Get regular exercise and eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Adding Omega-3 fatty acids will also help. This can be found in fish and flaxseed oil.

These are simple ways to reduce your risk of contracting this disease. You should also start off by setting up a thorough eye exam atBroome Optical in Amarillo, Texas. It is important to know exactly where you stand when it comes to your eye health and these Amarillo eye care professionals can help you find out. If you suspect you have macular degeneration, Broome Optical is here to help. The eye doctors here know the symptoms and understand the risks. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, Broome Optical boasts the best available modern technology to detect the onset of macular degeneration.

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