Macular degeneration is silently destroying the vision of our aging population. Detectable only by examination of the retina, permanent vision loss has often occurred before many people schedule a comprehensive eye exam, thinking changes in their vision are due aging. According to the Macular Disease Foundation of Australia, while there are predispositions that increase your chances of developing the disease, there are also lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce macular degeneration risks.
- – Age– Macular degeneration is an age-related condition affecting as many as one in seven people over the age of 50.
- – Family History– If the disease has affected other family members, your chance of developing macular degeneration can increase by 50 percent.
- – Smoking– Smoking is a major cause of blindness and increases your risk of developing macular degeneration by as much as three times.
- If comprehensive eye exams have not been part of your regular care, make sure to start. Your best chance at maintaining your vision is to detect it in the earliest possible stages. optomap® ultra-widefield imaging is non-invasive and can help your doctor with early detection.
- You cannot change your family history, but making sure to provide the information to your doctor will help them determine the best schedule for your comprehensive eye exams.
- If you are a smoker, stop as soon as possible. Quitting will help slow the progression or reduce macular degeneration risks.
- A diet rich in vitamins and minerals that benefit your eyes will keep your eyes healthier. Maintaining an active lifestyle with plenty of exercise helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy which helps supply your eyes with the oxygen and nutrients necessary for optimal eye health.
Providing a 200 degree view of the retina, optomap has been proven to aid in early detection of macular degeneration. Studies have shown that patients who have been diagnosed in in the earliest stages have been able to slow the progression and preserve their eyesight with treatment and lifestyle changes.