Age related macular degeneration manifests mostly in those who are age fifty or older. Although it does not result in complete blindness, it can seriously affect your ability to see well enough to perform many daily functions. Although there is currently no known cure for this condition, there are a number of ways that you can slow the development of macular degeneration. And it is never too early to start practicing these healthy habits! Luckily these five habits will not only slow down the progression of macular degeneration, but they will make you a healthier person in general! Talk about a win-win.

1). Not Smoking

Smoking is the biggest cause of macular degeneration. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoking is bad for your eyes, just like it is for the rest of your body. Two of the greatest threats to a smoker’s eyesight are macular degeneration and cataracts”. The simplest thing that you can do to protect your eyes from macular degeneration is to stop smoking. Or even better – never start.

2). Eating Right

Eating right is another simple way to strengthen your body’s defenses against macular degeneration. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are extremely good for your eyes due to the carotenoids that they contain. Eating plenty of fish is also very beneficial to eye health.

3). Sunglasses

macular degenerationProtecting your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays is another way to slow the progression of macular degeneration. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation ultra violet and blue light “is generally understood to be harmful to the eye, possibly leading to cataracts and other eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration”. Wearing sunglasses labeled UV 400 will protect your eyes from the harmful effects of these rays.

4). Vitamin Supplements

There have been extensive studies done on the benefits of specially formulated vitamin supplements to slow the progression of macular degeneration. The AREDs 2 study found that a formulation of vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, copper, and zinc was effective in slowing the progression. AREDs supplements can be found in stores, but make sure to consult with your doctor to decide which brand is best for you.

5). Create A Plan With Your Doctor

While all of these steps are effective ways to help slow macular degeneration, nothing compares to an individualized plan created for you by a professional who knows your eyes. Make sure to have regular eye exams and ask your doctor if there is anything else you can do to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.