Home Macular degeneration: Early signs and managing foods
Macular degeneration: Early signs and managing foods
Macular degeneration: Early signs and managing foods

Macular degeneration, commonly known as AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration, is a degenerative eye disorder that affects a large number of individuals over the age of 50. It is caused due to damage in the macula that is present in the retina. It can lead to poor vision and eyesight-related problems. In this article, we take a closer look at the early signs and symptoms as well as foods to eat and avoid for AMD.

Loss of quality of vision
Individuals who suffer from AMD start to experience an overall loss in their vision. Individuals could have trouble seeing clearly in the dark, have blurry vision, or even be unable to see clearly in poor light or darkness.

Visual distortion
Another common early sign of macular degeneration is visual distortion. Visual distortion makes it difficult for the individual to see straight lines. Items often appear bent or distorted, and this can make the person’s everyday life very difficult.

Other common signs of AMD
Other common signs and symptoms that can manifest in the early stages of macular degeneration are difficulties in recognizing and distinguishing faces, a decrease in intensity and brightness of colors, trouble adapting to dimly-lit locations such as restaurants, and blurry spots or blind spots in the field of vision.

Aside from medication, studies have suggested that certain foods can help improve overall eye health as well as slow down the progression of macular degeneration. They include:

Kale is rich in antioxidants known as carotenoids, which help protect the cells that are necessary for vision. Kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin that help boost the protection of the macula and slow the progression of macular degeneration.

Oranges contain vitamin C, which is essential in building collagen, a protein responsible for improving blood vessels in the body including the eyes. Studies have shown that vitamin C can help slow the progression of AMD by almost 25%.

Nuts and seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in nuts and seeds can help fight the symptoms of AMD as well as slow down the progression of the condition. It is also linked to a lower risk of developing AMD.

Chickpeas have traces of minerals such as zinc and copper that can help promote eye health. Zinc helps the body absorb antioxidants which are linked to the slow progression of AMD.

Certain foods can also damage the eye and cause a faster progression of AMD. They include:

Processed foods like cheese, breakfast cereals, bread, and savory snacks often contain tons of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These trans fats have been linked to a higher risk of macular degeneration as well as a faster progression of AMD.

Coconut and palm oil
Tropical oils such as coconut oil and palm oil tend to contain partially hydrogenated fats. These fats have been linked to the fast progression of AMD. Instead, opt for sunflower or flaxseed oil.

Cakes and biscuits
Sugary foods like cakes and biscuits can cause inflammation in the body, which leads to the release of free radicals. Free radicals wreak havoc on the body, including the eye, and lead to AMD.

It is also recommended to avoid red meats and dairy products that have high-fat levels as these can also contribute to the progression of AMD.


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