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Are You at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a chronic disease of the eye. If your ophthalmologist diagnoses you with this condition, you could develop blurred vision or even become blind. Fortunately, early detection and treatment of this disease can help reduce your vision deterioration. If you’re at a high risk for macular degeneration, making certain changes to your lifestyle might also help preserve your vision.

Retina eye scan

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, increase the risk of this eye disease. Work with your doctor to keep your blood pressure under control and let your ophthalmologist know of any changes in your medical history. Obesity also raises the risk of macular degeneration. If you are overweight, develop a weight loss program with the assistance of your doctor.

Dietary Factors

The consumption of a high-fat, high-cholesterol, and high-sugar diet will also put you at a higher risk for this potentially blinding eye disease. This type of diet is generally devoid of important nutrients needed for eye health. To protect your eyes, choose baked foods instead of fried, lean meats instead of those rich in saturated fats, and dark green, leafy veggies. If you have trouble getting enough vitamins, your ophthalmologist can recommend supplements.

Genetic Backgrounds

Having a family history of macular degeneration automatically places you at a higher risk of this condition, so make sure your ophthalmologist knows about your family history. A higher risk level is also prevalent amongst Caucasians, particularly for age-related macular degeneration. Having a light eye color also elevates the risk.

Lifestyle Habits

If you lead an inactive lifestyle, it’s time to ramp up your physical activity and reduce your risk of macular degeneration. Exercise may help preserve eye health by increasing oxygen circulation. Another activity that inhibits circulation is smoking; smokers have a much higher risk of macular degeneration, and they are also at a greater risk of an accelerated progression of the disease.

Early detection is important for vision preservation, so schedule regular appointments with an ophthalmologist. Call the NYC office of Dr. Mark Hornfeld at (212) 580-8881 and ask us about our services, including eye exams and eye surgery.