William Shakespeare once said “The eyes are the window to your soul.” Eyes can tell a lot about a person, and are usually the first thing we notice when we look at someone. While most people try to take precautionary measures to stay healthy and avoid things that are harmful for our body; the eyes are often an overlooked, yet vital part of our body that is essential to protect.
February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. Lifelong healthy habits are the key to keeping your eyes in good shape. Here are some tips for avoiding damaging your eyes.
What is it?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD is a fairly common eye condition and is the leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older.
In short, AMD refers to damage to the macula, a small spot located near the center of the retina. This small, yet important part of the eye is needed for sharp, central vision, allowing us to see objects straight ahead. Oftentimes, this disease progresses at such a slow pace that vision loss does not occur for a long time, yet in other it can progress much faster and could cause a loss of vision in one of both eyes.
- Blurred area that may grow larger over time
- Blank spots in your central vision
- Objects that may not appear to be as bright as they used to be
- In rare cases, you may have a change in your perception of color
- Appearance of pigmentary changes under the retina
AMD can start to interfere with everyday activities .While it does not lead to complete blindness by itself, it can have a big impact of day-to-day living such as driving, cooking, seeing faces clearly, and reading.
Keeping your Eyes Healthy
While we should all know by now about the dangers of smoking to our lungs, it can have equally damaging effects to your eyes. You might be able to reduce your risk of AMD or slow its progression by making these healthy choices:
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Eat a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish
- Avoid damaging UV rays
This disease can profoundly affect your life, especially if you rapidly lose your vision. Regular eye exams should be a vital part of your health, especially if you are 45 years of age or older. The early and intermediate stages of AMD typically start without symptoms. Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect AMD. Friedrichs Eye would love to be your provider for all of your eye health needs! To schedule an appointment, call us today at 815-895-3937 or vist friedrichseye.com