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6 Steps to Protect Your Eyes from Macular Degeneration
1. Get regular dilated eye exams
There are often no symptoms early on in AMD. Therefore, having your eyes dilated on a yearly basis is critical to diagnosing and managing AMD in its early stages.
2. Quit smoking
It has been shown through many clinical studies that smoking increases the risk of developing macular degeneration. It also increases the speed at which it progresses. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to develop AMD than nonsmokers.
3. Eat a well-balanced diet
Numerous studies have shown that eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nutrient rich foods, like salmon and nuts, may reduce the risk of AMD. It is also thought that patients who consume foods loaded with omega-3s, like fish, have a lower risk of developing AMD.
4. Exercise regularly
Exercising three times a week may reduce the risk of developing wet AMD by 70 percent. Staying physically active may lower the risk of developing early to late AMD according to some studies.
5. Protect your eyes from sunlight
Exposure to UV light over one’s lifetime increases the risk of developing AMD. Wearing glasses with UV protection as well as hats are great ways to limit the amount of UV light that hits one’s eyes.
6. Know your family’s eye health history
Having a close relative with macular degeneration increases your risk of developing AMD by 50 percent. Talk with your family to discuss their eye health history. More frequent eye exams may be warranted based on your family history.