Discuss eye health during AMD Month

February 1, 2012

February is Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, and Prevent Blindness America is offering a dedicated online resource for patients and caretakers to learn more about the retinal disease.

Chicago-February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month, and Prevent Blindness America is offering a dedicated online resource for patients and caretakers to learn more about the retinal disease.

The Web site, www.preventblindness.org/amd, offers a variety of tools and information about risk factors and treatment options as well as a downloadable Amsler grid that can help identify vision abnormalities linked to AMD.

It’s also a good occasion to remind patients of the ways in which food choices can benefit eye health:

• A diet rich in beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and certain vitamins can help guard against vision loss from eye disease such as AMD.

• Foods including lentils, grapes, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, kale, certain kinds of fish, turkey, and some kinds of nuts have been shown to aid eye health.

• High-glycemic foods have been shown to cause a dramatic increase in blood glucose levels, which over time may damage the retina and capillaries in the eye by promoting oxidative stress and inflammation.

• Soda and sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, some cereals, white rice, and foods made with white flour, such as white bread and pasta, should be avoided.

• More than one serving per week of beef, pork, or lamb as a main dish is associated with a 35% increased risk of AMD as compared with less than three servings per month.

• One serving per day of high-fat dairy food, such as whole milk, ice cream, hard cheese, or butter, also increases the risk of AMD progression.

The risk of eye disease and vision loss also can be lowered by avoiding trans fats, quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, exercising regularly, and visiting an eye-care professional on a regular basis.

For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times eReport, click here.

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