Eye News Tampa Bay healthy lifestyle can affect your vision

Published on August 20th, 2015 | by ddeupree

Is it possible to avoid macular degeneration?

A Boston study shows higher incidence of macular degeneration was due to specific lifestyles. Changing habits can help avoid macular degeneration.

How to avoid macular degeneration by changing lifestyle habits

Boston, Mass. ~ Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual impairment. As a macular degeneration sufferer, imagine having information that making a few changes in your lifestyle could slow or eliminate the progression of, and avoid macular degeneration. If you’re obese or you smoke, here are study results that can affect your vision’s future.

Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, released data on a study that monitored about 1,500 patients with and without age related macular degeneration. The multi-year study found that patients who smoked were 22.47 times more likely to develop AMD. Obesity in these same individuals multiplied the risk of AMD development.

The study suggests that individuals with a history of obesity and/or smoking would be well advised to change these habits or risk the likelihood of some form of macular degeneration as they age.

Obesity is a serious growing public health problem. In the U.S., obesity has doubled in adults and overweight prevalence has tripled in children and adolescents since the year 1980. It is estimated that there are 130 million Americans considered “overweight” or obese.

Of these changeable risk factors, smoking is the biggest contributor to the progression of macular degeneration. Multiple studies have indicated that there is a 2.5 to three-fold increase in the risk of AMD in smokers.

Overweight individuals and smokers should get regular dilated eye exams to evaluate their macula and retina health.

It’s never too late to quit!

The data appears to conclude that modifying lifestyles and behaviors may reduce the risk for developing AMD. Stopping smoking is a great start to avoid macular degeneration.

Regular, dilated eye exams to evaluate the retina and macula health are highly recommended for individuals who smoke or are considered obese.

ref: Review of Ophthalmology


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