The macula, the most sensitive part of the retina, is highly concentrated with cells that make up your fine visual acuity, central vision, and color vision.
There are two types of AMD; dry and wet. Dry AMD is the early form that ranges from fatty deposit accumulation in the macula, (known as drusen) to disruption and atrophy of macular cells. Wet AMD is when new blood vessels grow in the macular area that leak blood and/or fluid. This type is more severe and needs treatment, usually through injections or lasers to decrease progression of vision loss.
The best way to decrease risk of AMD, is through lifestyle and diet.
It’s important to bring this debilitating condition to awareness because although there’s a genetic predisposition, there are still many factors you can control to decrease risk of AMD.
- Food high in antioxidants, especially leutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids that make up your macular pigment (Ex. Leafy green veggies, fresh berries, other naturally yellow/orange fruits and veggies)
- Omega-3 (cold water fish, algae, chia seeds, flax seeds, supplements)
- Good control of cardiovascular health like blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol
- No smoking
- Blue light filtering glasses (although, no conclusive evidence on blue light)
Early detection is critical in managing and treating this condition. Remember to see your eye doctor for your annual comprehensive eye exam and eat your veggies!