Overview of Macular Degeneration Self-care
For people over 50, dry macular degeneration is a prevalent eye condition. As a result of the inner macula layers deteriorating, it results in impaired or diminished central vision. The portion of the retina known as the macula provides the eye with sharp vision while looking directly in front of it.
One eye may experience the onset of dry macular degeneration before the other. Moreover, it could appear in both eyes at the same time. The ability to read, drive, and identify people may all be impacted when eyesight deteriorates with time. Yet, having dry macular degeneration does not guarantee total blindness. People often just lose their center vision, keeping their peripheral vision. Some suffer from only a slight loss of central vision. Some may experience a more severe case.
The loss of vision caused by dry macular degeneration may be postponed with early detection and self-care methods.
Symptoms of dry macular degeneration typically appear gradually and painlessly. They may consist of
- Visual alterations, such as the appearance of bent “straight lines”.
- A decrease in one’s or both eyes’ central vision.
- They want more illumination when reading or performing close-up work.
- More difficulty adjusting to low light conditions, such as when entering a theater or restaurant that is barely illuminated.
- Printed words become hazier.
- Faces are difficult to recognize.
- A distinct blind patch or hazy area in the field of view.
One or both eyes can be affected by dry macular degeneration. It’s possible that you won’t notice any changes in your eyesight if only one eye is damaged. This is because your healthy eye might make up for your impaired eye. However, since the disorder does not impair side vision, it does not result in complete blindness.
One of the two kinds of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is dry macular degeneration. When blood vessels under the retina enlarge and leak, it can develop into wet macular degeneration. The dry type is more prevalent, but it typically develops gradually over years. The wet kind is more likely to result in a serious loss of eyesight due to a relatively abrupt shift in vision.
Macular Degeneration Self-care Methods
Purchase the Proper Supplements
If dry macular degeneration progresses to the more problematic wet stage, a vitamin and mineral supplement known as AREDS may slow it down. It contains a combination of vitamins C, E, zinc, and beta-carotene that has been scientifically tested. Beta-carotene was omitted from the revised AREDS2 formula in favor of lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids, which may be safer for smokers. Those who smoke have an increased chance of developing lung cancer when consuming beta-carotene.
Another reason to stop is to preserve your vision. You are more likely to get macular degeneration if you smoke. Once you have the condition, it also hastens eye damage. Ask your doctor for advice if you’re having trouble quitting smoking if you need assistance.
Protect Your Eyes
Your risk of developing macular degeneration may increase in response to ultraviolet exposure from the sun. Sunglasses are useful. Look for sunglasses that shield the light coming in from the sides and are UV 400-rated. Wear them whenever you are in direct sunlight or when you go outside.
Get some exercise! It has unexpectedly positive effects on your vision. It fortifies your heart’s muscles so that it can provide more blood that is rich in oxygen to your eyes. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity, which increases your risk of macular degeneration, are further benefits of staying fit.
If you’ve already lost your vision, consider a low-vision-safe exercise routine, such as yoga or riding a stationary bike.
Consume More Fish
It has a lot of omega-3s, which are good fats that improve heart and eye health. Try tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, and trout. Aim for two servings of fish per week or inquire with your doctor about the suitability of taking fish oil supplements.
Maintain a Low Blood Pressure.
Arteries that pass through your eyes provide a constant flow of oxygen to your eyes. Both your heart’s ability to pump blood and the vessels can be harmed by high blood pressure. With the right diet, exercise, and medication, you can keep it under control.
Control Your Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol, generally known as “bad” cholesterol, is a fatty molecule that not only increases your risk of developing heart disease but also impairs your vision. When you have macular degeneration, cholesterol can accumulate in your eyes and produce drusen—deposits that impair vision. Limit your intake of saturated fat, engage in 30 minutes of daily activity, and, if necessary, use statin medications to lower your LDL. Be aware that other factors besides cholesterol can also lead to the development of Drusen. Talk to your doctor about any additional steps you might need to take to stop Drusen from growing and depositing in your macula.
Eat Less Meat and Processed Food
Saturated and trans fats from foods like whole milk and fried foods can worsen macular degeneration in patients’ visual loss. Limit your intake of corn, safflower, and sunflower oil’s omega-6 fatty acids as well. Cooking with olive and canola oils is healthier.
Try Performing a DIY Vision Test.
Use the Amsler grid, a straightforward test that might assist you in identifying eye damage early on when it is simpler to repair it. There is a dot in the center of a graph made up entirely of straight lines. You might have advanced to the wet macular degeneration stage if the lines appear wavy or twisted when you gaze at them or if you see any black patches on the graph. How often you should examine the grid and how to understand what you see should be discussed with your eye specialist.
Low Vision Rehabilitation
Have your regular activities been hindered by vision issues? You can learn how to maximize your vision with the help of vision rehabilitation. You’ll receive advice and learn how to use equipment to help you move around and maintain your independence without falling. You will work with a group of professionals, including social workers, occupational therapists, and eye doctors.
If you need eyesight enhancement, go high-tech. For menus or books, handheld magnifiers that fit in your pocket or purse can enlarge the print. Some have an integrated light. The excitement of a play, athletic event, or movie is brought closer to you with binoculars and telescopes. Your book, sewing project, or images are projected onto a large screen via video magnifiers. Moreover, reading machines speak text. Even a number of smartphone apps are available that can be helpful.
Improve Your Lighting
Steer clear of fluorescent lamps and other light sources that resemble the sun’s harmful beams. Lighting options that are safer are incandescent or LED. Use an adjustable lamp that directs the light where you need it to help you see more clearly. To reduce glare, cover your windows with drapes or shades. To make it easier for you to move about safely at night, add more illumination to the stairs and hallways.
Consult an eye doctor
Macular degeneration does not immediately cause vision loss. It develops gradually over time. Keep up with routine eye exams, and notify your physician straight once if you notice any changes. Being vigilant can aid you in preventing eye damage before it robs you of your vision.
Using Functional Medicine for Macular Degeneration Self-Care
Functional medicine is a method of treating illnesses that aims to target the underlying causes of illness rather than merely its symptoms. Loss of eyesight is caused by a disorder called macular degeneration, which damages the macula, the center of the retina. Although macular degeneration cannot be cured, there are various ways that functional medicine may help patients with this condition fare better:
Practitioners of functional medicine may examine a patient’s diet and suggest particular vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are good for eye health, including lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E. These nutrients might aid in maintaining the macula’s health and halting the advancement of macular degeneration.
Modifications to one’s lifestyle
Practitioners of functional medicine may work with patients to identify and address lifestyle concerns including smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar that may be causing macular degeneration. Controlling these risk factors can help the disease’s course and enhance general health.
Balance of hormones
Thyroid disorders and other hormonal imbalances may be a factor in macular degeneration. Through dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and targeted supplementation, functional medicine practitioners can diagnose and treat hormone abnormalities.
Functional medicine is aware of the significance of gut health for overall well-being. Systemic inflammation, which has been linked to macular degeneration, can be influenced by gut health. Practitioners of functional medicine may evaluate and treat gut health using dietary modifications, probiotic supplements, and other therapies.
Practitioners of functional medicine may employ genetic testing to pinpoint particular gene variants linked to an elevated risk of macular degeneration. This knowledge can be used to customize interventions and lifestyle changes to address unique genetic predispositions.
Macular degeneration and other health issues, including chronic stress and inflammation, have been linked. To help people better manage stress and reduce inflammation, functional medicine practitioners may use stress-reducing methods like mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and other stress management measures.
Macular degeneration, a disorder that affects the central portion of the retina and can cause vision loss, can be managed in large part by self-care. Here are some essential ideas for macular degeneration self-care:
Macular degeneration can be slowed down by eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants that support eye health, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E.
Modifying one’s lifestyle can help lower the risk of macular degeneration and decrease the disease’s progression. Risk factors including smoking should be avoided, high blood pressure and blood sugar levels should be controlled, and a healthy lifestyle should be maintained.
Routine eye exams, according to an ophthalmologist or optometrist’s advice, and using the right eye protection, including sunglasses that block damaging UV rays, can help manage macular degeneration and identify any changes in vision early.
Reducing stress through relaxation exercises, mindfulness training, and other methods may help to lower inflammation and enhance general health, including eye health.
Adherence to prescribed medications is essential to manage macular degeneration efficiently, including anti-VEGF injections and other medications, if given by a medical expert.
Support on an emotional level: Macular degeneration can have a serious influence on a person’s emotional health. People can deal with the emotional difficulties of managing macular degeneration by seeking emotional assistance from friends, family, support groups, or mental health specialists.
FAQs for Macular Degeneration Self-care
How can I treat my macular degeneration without medication?
Vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, squash, and others are rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help those who suffer macular degeneration. For those with macular degeneration, eating foods strong in zinc may be beneficial.
Which beverage is better for macular degeneration?
Apple, carrot, and beet juice. Beets have lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote the health of the macular and retina. Apples contain a lot of bioflavonoids, which are believed to improve vision health and keep doctors away. You may make a nutrient-rich beverage that fights vision loss by combining them all.
Does coffee contribute to macular degeneration?
Your eyes and coffee, There are one or two conditions that could make you more susceptible to glaucoma, but they could also make you less susceptible to macular degeneration or dry eyes. Our advice is to enjoy your coffee in moderation because there aren’t any clear-cut positive or bad effects.