How to Prevent or Slow Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD, is the number one cause of irreversible vision loss in seniors. The disease initially affects central vision, and as it progresses, AMD can rob seniors of their ability to drive, read, or even recognize faces. Luckily, there are steps your senior loved one can take to prevent or slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Flower Mound families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Limit Exposure to Blue Light

The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, and CFL and LED light bulbs can cause deterioration and oxidation of the macula and macular pigment. This deterioration can cause a loss of contrast sensitivity and glare issues. Seniors who spend a lot of time looking at electronics should consider talking to their ophthalmologist about protective eyewear. 

Watch the Simple Carbs

A Tufts University study found a correlation between foods high in refined sugars and simple carbohydrates and an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration. Seniors can reduce their risk of AMD or possibly slow the progression of the disease by limiting their intake of foods that are high on the glycemic index, such as cakes, muffins, and white breads and pastas. Whole-wheat and other whole-grain foods are better alternatives.

Wear Sunglasses

Long-term sun exposure is not only bad for the skin, but it is also harmful to the eyes. Encourage your loved one to purchase multiple pairs of sunglasses. The best sunglasses offer UV and HEV protection. 

Make Eye Exams a Priority

The earliest stages of age-related macular degeneration can usually be detected during an eye exam. Based on their individual eye health concerns and risk factors, most seniors should see their eye doctor every one to two years. Changes in vision, such as dark spots affecting the central vision, blurry vision, and straight or wavy lines that do not resolve, should not be ignored. 

Follow a Healthy Diet

Eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day is not only a good practice for general health, but it may also prevent macular degeneration. Look for fruits and vegetables that are rich in color, such as kale, bell peppers, oranges, and peaches. These foods contain high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants are found naturally in the central retina and must be replenished regularly to maintain eye health. For the best results, try to include three different colors of fruits and vegetables with each meal. 

Aging can make daily tasks like preparing healthy meals and grocery shopping more challenging. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Flower Mound seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Keep Blood Pressure in Check

The eyes have the highest level of blood exchange of any part of the body. High blood pressure can harm the multitude of tiny blood vessels in the eye and ultimately damage the retina. Make sure your loved one monitors his or her blood pressure periodically and works with the doctor to lower it if it turns out to be high.

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits that can prevent AMD and other age-related conditions, consider hiring a dedicated caregiver. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Flower Mound live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. For high-quality senior care services and a free in-home consultation, call Home Care Assistance at 972-468-6010 today.