Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Risk Factors and Prevention (Video)

In this video, Dr. Guy Eakin, talks about the factors that increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and the actions that can be taken to prevent or slow the progress of the disease. This video is part 5 of a 6 part series on macular degeneration.

Dr. Guy Eakin: Hello, I’m Dr. Guy Eakin. Today I'm discussing the factors that increase the risk of developing age related macular degeneration and the actions that can be taken to prevent or slow the progress of the disease. The known risk factors for AMD fall into two categories: those we can do something about and those we can’t. Age, gender, race, eye color, and family history of macular degeneration are all risk factors that we have no control over. Age, For instance. Every day, we grow a day older. And once we reach 75, there's a one in three chance we will have some form of AMD.

Regarding gender women, maybe more likely than men to develop AMD. Caucasians are more likely to be affected by AMD than other racial groups, as are people with light colored eyes. But other races are off the hook and maybe more rare, but it can be just as severe and maybe underdiagnosed in other races. And just as it's true that we can choose our families. We can't choose our genetic inheritance either. A family history of macular degeneration raises the possibility of developing it ourselves. Knowing we are particularly vulnerable to the disease can motivate us to act on the things we can affect. Number one, research has shown that smoking increases the chances of developing AMD by up to 500% .Think that smoking constricts blood vessels all over the body and is particularly destructive division because it robs the retina of oxygen as difficult as it is to quit smoking. Protecting your site is a powerful incentive to do it. Even if AMD is already present, stopping smoking can help by improving the oxygen delivery to the eye. We also know that prolonged exposure to the sun ultraviolet light directly damages the retina cornea and lens. This is especially true since we're living longer and at any one time, or probably being exposed to more up in previous generations. UV light contributes to both AMD information have cataracts and its effects are cumulative. Luckily, there are many ways to block UV radiation from entering the eye. These include wearing UV protective sunglasses or prescription lenses or even a wide brim hat. An eye care professional could suggest other protections. An inadequate diet, high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity may also all contribute AMD and other diseases. Even modest improvements in these areas can both enhance I health and bring an overall increase in physical and emotional well-being. Start slowly by getting regular exercise and eating a very nutritious diet that includes leafy green vegetables, fruit and fish. Add that to protect them the eyes from the sun's rays, quitting smoking and visiting an eye doctor regularly for eye exams and you have an excellent recipe for healthier vision and a healthier life. Now is a great time to start.

This content was first posted on: February 1, 2013
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