Lifestyle Tips to Reduce Macular Degeneration Risk

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that affects millions of adults in the U.S. It is an age-related condition that usually affects individuals over 55 years. Also referred to as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, it causes blurry central vision resulting from damage to the macula. There is no cure for the disease, but it is manageable. Understanding risk factors is vital to prevent AMD. 

A Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to improve your eye health. Nutrient-rich foods can help to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. Increase your consumption of oily fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to prevent AMD. Steer clear of processed foods full of preservatives.

Healthy Lifestyle 

Good overall health is vital for your eye health. Risk factors for AMD are similar to those of heart disease. Making lifestyle changes that benefit your heart will help protect your eye health. Watch your weight and cholesterol, and maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Your doctor can recommend ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly can lower the chance of macular degeneration. Getting regular physical activity can assist in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Daily exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease. Participate in activities you enjoy, whether walking, cycling, aerobics, or sports.  

Avoid Smoking 

Smoking causes various health issues. If you smoke, you have an increased risk of developing AMD through exposure to harmful free radicals and unstable molecules. If you find it hard to stop smoking, you can get professional help. Some programs will help you quit the habit. A smoke-free lifestyle is beneficial for your eye health. It allows nutrients to reach the eyes.

Avoid UV Exposure 

UV rays can heighten the risk of eye diseases, including AMD. Avoid exposure by wearing sunglasses and a hat while outdoors. Avoid looking directly at the sun and wear eye protection if you use a sun lamp or sun bed. Invest in good quality UV-blocking eyewear. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, get lenses with UV protection. 


Taking supplements can help to ensure you get the eye-healthy nutrients you need. Antioxidants can help to slow AMD progression. Supplementing your diet will ensure adequate lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and vitamins C, D, and E. Consult your healthcare provider before taking supplements. The FDA-approved AREDS2 is effective for the treatment of AMD.

Regular Eye Exams

Scheduling annual comprehensive eye exams can help to reduce the risk of AMD. It is unclear what causes the condition, but early detection can help to protect your eyesight. If you are genetically predisposed to AMD, regular exams will help to monitor your eye health. 

Understanding your family history will help determine your predisposition to developing AMD. Monitor your eye health to check for symptoms of the disease. If you notice any vision changes, contact your eye doctor immediately. 

For more lifestyle tips to reduce macular degeneration risk, visit McCabe Vision Center at our office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Call (615) 904-9024 to book an appointment today. 

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