Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the centre of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision, which lets us see objects that are straight ahead.
In some people, AMD advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. As AMD progresses, a blurred area near the centre of vision is a common symptom. Over time, the blurred area may grow larger or you may develop blank spots in your central vision. Objects also may not appear to be as bright as they used to be.
AMD by itself does not lead to complete blindness, with no ability to see. However, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write, or do close work, such as cooking or fixing things around the house.
Prevention is the best treatment for AMD. Anti-oxidants that occur abundantly in nature are most often called in to arrest the progression of AMD, although not everyone would agree on their effectiveness. A study published by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported that people who consumed the most vegetables rich in carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, had a 43 percent lower risk of AMD than those who ate these foods the least. "In particular, a higher frequency of intake of spinach or collard greens was associated with a substantially lower risk for AMD," researchers said.
Other lifestyle measures such as stopping smoking, keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control, taking a balanced multi-vitamin-multi-mineral supplement, eating fruits and nuts daily, reducing refined carbohydrates in the diet are vital as well.
(www.allaboutvision.com accessed 09-02-2019)