When I was younger, I used to take my health for granted like many of us do. Over the years, I’ve learned that it takes work to stay healthy especially as you get older. I’ve written many posts about the benefits of being over 40, being over 50, and being over 60 such as wisdom, experience, inner peace, and freedom from being judged. Unfortunately, there’s a downside: our bodies start to show signs of wear and tear, just like anything that’s been around that long. But, and this is a BIG “but”, you can actually feel better at 50, than you did at 30, with a little effort!
Believe me, I’m no more special than any of you. I just work hard to be the best that I can professionally as a doctor, and personally to stay healthy. I also try to enjoy the journey and lessons learned as well as the reward.
My inspiration to you is to eat right, exercise daily, sleep enough for you, and find ways to deal with stress. That’s it!
Our bodies age both inside and out as we get older. The problem is that you cannot see the inside parts of your body so you cannot see your organs aging, and you know the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”. Many people spend more effort keeping up their exterior appearances because that is what you see, the how you age inside is where the real wealth is.
The problem with the eyes is that there are no pain receptors inside the eyes to alert you that there is a problem. Most people cannot tell they have macular degeneration or glaucoma until they have lost vision. This is why it’s so important to get your eyes checked at least once a year to catch problems early before they cause serious problems.
In this blog I will focus on an age-related eye problem called Macular Degeneration.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Sometimes called age-related macular degeneration (or AMD), macular degeneration is one of the primary causes of vision loss for people over 50.
The macula is a part of the retina responsible for giving us the sharp, precise vision needed when we read, drive, or try to pick out details. The damage occurs because arteries leading to the retina begin to harden, and the tissue weakens and dies.
There are two types of AMD: wet and dry.
Wet AMD, or neovascular AMD, is where the eye attempts to repair the damage caused by blocked arteries and dead tissue by growing new blood vessels. However, these cells aren’t as healthy as the original tissue, and so they can leak fluids and cause the vision to become distorted.
The more common type of AMD is non-neovascular AMD, or “dry.” Instead of forming new blood vessels, small particles called drusen form in the eye, which causes loss of vision.
The Symptoms of AMD
- Losing the ability to see objects clearly
- Losing your color vision
- Blurriness or distortion
- A black spot or dark area in the middle of your vision
Regardless of the cause, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to visit your eye doctor right away. And, of course, regular checkups with your eye doctor is an excellent way to ensure that your eyes stay healthy – and that any problems can be spotted early enough to do something about them.
Who gets age-related macular degeneration?
Once you’re over 50, you are at a higher risk of developing AMD – but unlike cataracts, AMD will not affect everybody.
There’s no way to guarantee that you won’t get AMD, but holistic and whole-lifestyle ways to reduce the risks of developing it.
- Studies have shown that smoking almost doubles the likelihood of developing AMD.
- A healthy diet full of leafy, dark greens can also help prevent AMD from developing.
- Keeping track of your cholesterol level is also an effective preventative measure
- See me about homeopathic remedies that can help keep your macula healthy
- Wear glasses with a blue light filter while working on digital devices
- Wear sunglasses with a UV400 filter that protects your eyes from UVA and UVB
- Supplement with MaxiVision Ocular and Body formulas which have been clinically shown to increase protective macular pigment (available in our store)
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly: Establishing a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine may help protect your vision.
- Frequent eye exams: after being diagnosed with AMD see your eye doctor regularly to monitor if the dry AMD progresses to wet AMD which would require immediate medical care.
If a family member has macular degeneration, you have a ten times greater risk of developing AMD. Give me a call at (323) 521-4770 to develop a prevention program for you today.