February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. Age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD, is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States. By 2030, there will be an estimated 3.7 million cases of AMD. While the exact cause of AMD is still unknown, our team at Clearview Eye & Laser, we want to share some tips for keeping your eyes healthy and preventing AMD.

Older couple on a swing

Quit Smoking Now

If you’re a habitual smoker or enjoy occasionally smoking or vaping, you should be thinking twice. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as the rest of your body. Smokers are four times more likely to develop AMD compared to non-smokers. Cigarette smoke contains a combination of harmful chemicals that can severely affect vision over time.

Eating Healthy

Having a diet rich of fruits and vegetables is important to keep your eyes strong. Foods such as leafy greens and fish contain key nutrients for retinal health. Our Seattle eye doctors recommend a heart-healthy diet of fish at least twice a week and at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Take Supplements

Taking vitamins and minerals may be a good idea for many reasons, including your general vision health. Many Americans don’t eat enough fruits and other nutrient-rich foods, opting for high-calorie alternatives that can be harmful to the eyes. Daily supplements are designed to fill in the gaps.

Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a study performed by the National Eye Institute about the benefits of eye supplements. The original study investigated the effect of use of a daily multivitamin supplement on the progression of AMD and cataracts. The results showed that antioxidant multivitamin reduced the risk of AMD progression among people at high risk of vision loss by about 25 percent.

Recommended vitamins that can play a key role in reducing vision include but are not limited to:

  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene
  • Vitamin C, D and E
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin

Exercise Regularly

Moving regularly can reduce risk factors such as weight and cholesterol levels, as well as the risk for macular degeneration. Research has shown that people who led an active lifestyle are less likely to develop AMD by 70 percent.

Schedule Eye Exams at Clearview Eye & Laser

Regular visits to your local Seattle eye doctor is a very important step for preventing AMD. Frequent check-ups can lead to early diagnosis. If caught early, the progression of the disease can be controlled and total vision loss may be avoided. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a dilated eye exam every two to three years if you’re between ages 45 and 60.

As we age, our eyes get older and are constantly changing. Our well knowledgeable eye doctors will work with you to make sure that you can see your best. Comprehensive eye exams can help spot eye diseases, such as glaucoma, which show no symptoms. It’s important to find these early on when they are easier to treat.

At Seattle’s Clearview Eye & Laser, we offer comprehensive eye exams for all ages. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.  We have two eye care centers located in the Seattle and Burien area.