What is Macular Degeneration and How Can it be Avoided?

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Whether you came in for an eye exam or to get Lasik Eye Surgery, you may have heard the term “macular degeneration” at some point from your friendly optometrist in Provo, UT but may not know exactly what it is. Macular degeneration happens when the central portion of the retina (also knows as the “macula”) deteriorates and leads to vision loss. This is the most common way that people lose their vision and it typically affects those who are age 55 and older. Even if you are young, there are preventative measures you can take now to reduce your odds of getting macular degeneration.

Don’t Smoke

We talk about this a lot but seriously, please don’t smoke. Smoking actually doubles your odds at getting macular degeneration. If you are currently a smoker, we highly recommend quitting now. Your eyes and body will thank you.

Eat Leafy Greens

We recommend eating dark, leafy greens at least a few times a week, or daily if you can, so that your eyes are getting the nutrients they need. Half a cup of spinach would be considered 1 serving of leafy greens.

Stay Active

People that don’t have a regular exercise routine are more likely to experience macular degeneration. Exercise improves your cardiovascular health, which also delivers oxygen to your retinas, which will benefit them overall.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Stay at a healthy weight as obesity is another risk factor. An individual with a BMI of 30 or greater increases their chances of getting macular degeneration when they are older by 2 ½ times.

There are things you can’t control as this disease is more likely to happen to females, those with light-colored eyes, anyone with a family history of it, and light skin. It’s important to do everything you can now whether you feel at risk or not.

If you have questions about macular degeneration and are curious about other services our optometrists provide such as eye exams, and Lasik eye surgery, our office in Provo, Utah would be happy to help.

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