Follow these tips to preserve your eyesight

Macular degeneration causes half of all cases of legal blindness.

Follow these tips to preserve your eyesight

Macular degeneration is a common eye condition that often manifests in people over 50 and can lead to vision loss or even legal blindness.

It’s the name given to a group of chronic, degenerative retinal diseases that cause progressive loss of vision to the macula (the centre) of the eye, but leaves peripheral vision largely intact.

This makes it difficult to read, drive, recognise faces and perform what should be simple daily activities. Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration, is the leading cause of legal blindness (but not total blindness) and severe vision loss in Australia,  accounting for around half of all cases.

While genetics may play a part in your chance of developing macular degeneration, it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of ageing.

Modifiable risk factors play an important role in the development of macular degeneration. You can boost your defences by not smoking, which can double your risk of the condition, and you can further bolster your armoury by maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Try to eat a healthy ‘eye’ diet high in nutrients from dark green leafy vegetables, seafood and fruits.

Also, follow Amelia’s simple tips for protecting your eyes. You won’t be sorry you did.

These suggestions will not only help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and they’re also great for promoting good health in general. As far as your eyes go, book in a regular annual eye test, eat well, exercise and drink plenty of water and green tea, and you’ll be seeing well into your later years.

Some nutritional supplements may also slow the progression of macular degeneration, but you should always discuss this and any other change to your health plan with a medical professional. And if you have concerns about macular degeneration, it may be time to see your local optometrist for an eye test.


Do you have, or worry about, macular degeneration? Are there any tips you’d like to share with our members?


    Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    25th May 2018
    Sorry but all the people I know with macular degeneration didn't smoke and they ate very nutritious food - always. It wasn't the generation of junk fooditus consumers.
    The one thing I have been told MAY be a contributor (apart from age) is using margarine instead of butter. The margarine is an oil that is too easily absorbed into the blood stream. Once I heard this I stopped buying margarine totally and I am far more aware of cooking oils. Who knows if it will help. I will let you know in 30 years.
    25th May 2018
    Hi Rosret,
    Just a bit of info whether it has anything to with MD I know not. I'm age 89. Stopped smoking 1969. Stopped eating Margarine years ago, I seldom eat out and cook my own meals of whatever! Only using Olive Oil. I have my eyes tested annually for MD (diabetes 2) and only have slight MD in my right eye. I hope your as well in 30 years time :-)
    25th May 2018
    A friend had cataract surgery, and the specialist told her not to eat margarine. It made me give it up. Butter tastes so much better anyway
    25th May 2018
    Thanks guys. We kicked margarine out a few years ago. The advertising guys selling margarine are not credible and like vitamins not eating butter is probably much worse for you then eating it. As with all things moderation!

    25th May 2018
    A major contributory factor to macular degeneration - particularly macular oedema - is diabetes.
    25th May 2018
    Had my annual check up 3 days ago, my eyes haven't changed much at all, I have had a small section that shows some MD but it hasn't' got any worse for about 5 years, my optician told me it's nothing to be concerned about, she did give me similar advice as the article has suggested, I do most of it anyway, so hopefully everything will remain OK.
    25th May 2018
    Big contributing factor with MD is genetic, so get regular checks. Just remember that an Optometrist checks your sight and basic problems whereas an Ophthalmologist is a Specialist who looks after the health of your eyes. An Optometrist is not a doctor. I have a family history of MD so see an Ophthalmologist annually.

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