Diet and Macular Degeneration

There’s now a strong link between diet and macular degeneration. Healthy eating may significantly decrease the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the #1 cause of vision loss in older Americans. AMD destroys the central vision needed to see objects clearly, affecting our ability to read, drive, watch TV, and do routine daily tasks. Preventing AMD is priceless.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among adults in the U.S. over the age of 60. AMD affects more than 1 million Americans, but recent research showed that many of these cases of AMD can be prevented through a diet rich in citrus fruits, leafy greens, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids – yes, a diet like the Pritikin Eating Plan.

Other studies have also established a strong link between healthy eating and decreased incidence of AMD. Nationwide now, ophthalmologists recommend to their patients a daily diet that includes leafy green vegetables and other whole foods like fruits.

It’s also critical to quit smoking. Recent research found a two- to three-fold increased risk of age-related macular degeneration among people who smoked.

Another lifestyle-related tip: Protect your eyes from sun exposure with sunglasses that block ultra-violet rays.

There’s no doubt we can now add sustained vision to the long list of benefits that can be gained from a healthy diet and lifestyle.

SOURCE: Ophthalmology, May 2009.

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