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Prevention and Nutrition

Macular degeneration is a hereditary condition that more often affects populations with eyes that are lighter in color. Scandinavians, with a large percentage of people with light blue eyes that are not heavily pigmented, have a much higher incidence of macular degeneration than are found in populations with darker brown eyes. We can’t control genetics yet, but there are a number of environmental and dietary decisions that can be made which influence the appearance and progression of macular degeneration. Here are some macular degeneration prevention tips:

Smoking has been found to be the single worst entity for increasing the progression of macular degeneration.  Some studies have shown that it increases the appearance and progression of the condition by as much as 28X.  Another great reason for not smoking!!

Diet is another major factor.

  • Diets high in fats, especially saturated fats, and triglycerides have shown to be very detrimental
  • Diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, have shown to be very effective in reducing progression or adding to the stability of the condition.
  • Lutein, bilberry, and other anti-oxidants have also been shown to greatly enhance the well being of the macula.
  • Supplements such as co-enzyme Q-10 and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids may also be advantageous as well. For this reason dietary supplements containing these may prove very useful in maintaining optimum macular health.

Alcohol consumption in large quantities can be very harmful. However, consuming 4 to 8 ounces of red wine per day increases the integrity of the small vessels in the macula, aiding in the prevention of bleeding.

Ultraviolet rays from the sun and other sources in high concentration have also proven harmful. Sunglass and UV filters are highly recommended.

Regular exercise has also proven effective in maintaining the integrity of the retina. The macula requires high levels of oxygen to function, so anything that increases bloodflow, such as aerobic exercise, is very beneficial