Age Related Macular Degeneration

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What can you do to reduce the risks

Diet    (needed to build Macular Pigment)

Eat  foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (or supplements).  
Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
Consuming fish (like tuna) more than once per week may be beneficial

Reduce alcohol consumption (alcohol may deplete antioxidants and carotenoids in the body)

General Health


Decrease cardiovascular risk factors  (hypertension, obesity, fats, cholesterol)   
       Are you overweight?  Check out your own   Body Mass Index (BMI)

Gentle exercise is good for you - but don't overdo it

STOP or NEVER START smoking.
        Smoking very seriously affects your health and vision in later life.

Eye protection

Reduce exposure to the damaging effects of bright sunlight,
particularly if you have low levels of macular pigment which is the
eyes natural built-in sunglasses

Wear uv / blue light blocking glasses/sunglasses
(and preferably large or wrap-around types)

Wear hats or caps with eye shielding brims

Optometric Advice
Ask your optometrist to advise on reducing risk of AMD in later life and to measure your present levels of Macular Pigment
Get regular eye tests, at least every two years and more frequently as you get older (over 50)
Always ask for a complete eye test - not a five minute checkup!
Ask about your ARMD risks and advice for reducing them

A Simple and free ARMD risk calculator (currently under development at Manchester University)
The higher the risk the more serious you should consider altering lifestyle to reduce the risks.  
If your macular pigment levels are also low you should consider altering your diet and/or taking supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin.
If you do not know your macular pigment levels ask your optometrist to measure it for you.

A Simple web based ARMD risk calculator  (offsite at OHSU USA)