Lifestyle Changes for the Treatment of Macular Degeneration
By Walter Choate on October 31, 2016
At Choate Eye Associates, we provide exceptional treatment for a range of eye disorders, including macular degeneration. In many cases, the best treatment for a certain condition is no treatment whatsoever, but rather changes in a patient’s lifestyle. This is often the case in the early stages of macular degeneration, when it has first been diagnosed, but before it has had the opportunity to progress.
One of the reasons we urge our patients to seek diagnosis of possible eye conditions as soon as they start experiencing symptoms is that they are more likely to be able to benefit from conservative treatment options when a condition is caught in its earliest stages. While there is no known cure for macular degeneration, the condition can be managed and its progression can be slowed as long as a timely diagnosis is made. We are often able to prescribe lifestyle changes for the treatment of macular degeneration at our Nashville, TN eye care center as a means of forestalling more aggressive treatments when patients turn to us early in the progression of the condition.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of macular degeneration, please don’t hesitate to schedule your initial appointment at Choate Eye Associates today.
What Is Macular Degeneration and What Are Its Symptoms?
Macular degeneration is a condition in which the center of the retina, or the macula, begins to deteriorate. As a result of this deterioration, the central field of vision worsens. If left untreated, a blind spot will develop in the central portion of a person’s vision and grow wider with time.
Typically, macular degeneration occurs in both eyes, although initial symptoms may be apparent in one eye only. The first noticeable symptom is usually distortion of straight lines, which begin to appear wavy. If the condition is left untreated at this point, visual distortions will worsen, with central vision at a distance becoming worse, followed by near vision. Eventually, it becomes difficult to discern faces or see colors clearly. All the while, peripheral vision remains unaffected.
Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Treat Macular Degeneration
As stated above, there is no cure for macular degeneration; however, lifestyle changes can help to slow its progression. These lifestyle changes include:
- If you are a smoker, stop smoking. Whether you are a smoker or not, be careful to avoid second-hand smoke.
- Consume foods high in antioxidants such as kale, broccoli, blueberries, and spinach, as well as high-protein foods such as milk, cheese, beef, pork, and yogurt. Foods that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc are also on the approved list. Avoid saturated fats.
- Protect your eyes from the sun. If you are outside for long periods, wear sunglasses with UV protection.
- Control any other medical conditions you have, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Get lots of exercise and keep your weight at a healthy level.
Schedule Your Eye Exam Today
Even if you aren’t experiencing the symptoms of macular degeneration, it is important to have regular eye exams. We encourage you to schedule your comprehensive eye exam at Choate Eye Associates today.
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“I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam.” Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient