Monday, December 20, 2010

Macular Degeneration and Lifestyle

We now have another condition that may be prevented by eating a healthy diet, exercising and abstaining from smoking.  Age Related macular degeneration (AMD)!

Macular degeneration causes a loss of central vision and makes it difficult to recognize faces and read small print.  The macula degenerates with age and severe macular degeneration causes blindness.  Treatment is costly and doesn't work very well.

A new study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology looked at 1313 women aged 55-74 years.  They reviewed their diet and exercise habits.   Eating a "healthy diet" meant 3.5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2.3 servings of dairy, 2.7 ounces of meet and 3.5 servings of grain a day.  Exercise habits and smoking history were also monitored.

They found a significant association between early AMD and diet, exercise and overall healthy habits.  Non-smokers who ate the healthiest diets and were the most active (only 5% of participants) reduced their odds for AMD by 71% compared to those with high-risk scores.

The authors noted a couple of caveats.  They studied only white females so we don't know if these results hold true for men or other ethnicities.  They also did not evaluate interrelated habits and they did not look at people with high-risk genotypes for AMD.  The authors did note, however, that having a family history of AMD did not alter the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

So here it is...yet another reason to seize the moment and start doing the things that are proven to create better health as we age.  So far I haven't found even one study that did not extol the benefits of diet and exercise and not smoking in creating good health.

18 comments:

KM said...

Thanks for this important info. I had once had an Ophthalmologist tell me green leafy vegetables with vitamin K and Kale help lower the risk of getting macular degeneration. Also an Ophthalmology Tech told me that wrap around sunglasses that have the thicker sides frames are important to wear to help keep and protect the sun's rays from hitting the side direction to your eyes.

jobb said...

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Raymond Bouchayer said...

I was diagnosed with mild Macular degeneration a few years ago .

Over the last few years I have changed glasses and lost a lot of them :-)

About a year ago I was visiting an office and the secretary told me that I should go see a Doctor at the Bascom Palmer Institute , that the Doctors there have saved the eyesight of her mother .

I made an appointment and got Doctor Philip Rosenfeld , M.D as my Doctor . He is the Doctor that has a technique to get "wet Macular into Dry Macular " saving the eyesight . Great Guy , he asked me who was my eye Doctor in San Francisco and when I told him , he smiled and said "great Doctor , I trained her"

In short there is hope for this

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