Our macula is a part of the eye’s retina in which the images get focused. This area of the eye is the one responsible for our fine vision. As we grow older, the macula can get impaired and may cause severe visual loss. In fact, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the US for people who are at least 55 years old.
Macular degeneration can cause blurred vision, seeing straight objects appearing bent or distorted, or that there’s a dark spot near the visual field center.
When reading, there could be some parts missing as well if you have this kind of vision disorder. While it may be difficult to prevent, especially if you have a very high risk, there are some natural treatments for the disease that can stop it from occurring:
1. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants get rid of free radicals, which are toxins that can cause various problems in our health, even macular degeneration. Antioxidant-rich foods include:
- Squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and other orange and yellow vegetables (antioxidant: carotenoids)
- Blueberries, cherries, and other berries for anthocyanin antioxidant
- Colored foods rich in antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E
2. Drink plenty of water.
Make sure you stay hydrated to keep the eyes hydrated too. Aside from plain water, coconut water and herbal teas are recommended as well.
3. Consume a lot of foods high in fiber.
Fiber helps keep the toxins out of the body and keeps the gut healthy, while making sure nutrients are absorbed properly by the body. It is recommended you consume at least 25 grams of the fiber-rich foods, which include:
- Legumes or soaked beans
- Soaked or sprouted grains
4. Take some supplements.
There are supplements that are good for the eyes and at the same time, prevent macular degeneration. According to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, it is important to get enough of vitamin C, E, and other antioxidants, along with omega-3s and zinc.
5. Stop smoking.
Smoking isn’t just dangerous for your lungs, but also your eyes because of the toxic chemicals the cigarettes contain. These chemicals can cause you to age rapidly and this can affect your eyes by increasing chances for inflammation and damaging cells and tissues. Smoking may also cause vision loss.
Healthy weight and exercise can also help you prevent or at least slow down the progress of macular degeneration. As you grow older, especially when you reach 40, you are at risk of developing the disease. Make sure you visit your doctor and have a comprehensive eye exam twice a year, particularly if you’re at risk, such as if you have a family history of macular degeneration or you have diabetes.