What causes macular degeneration — that sight-stealer so prevalent among the more mature crowd?
Free radicals are a major culprit. They form when the blue and ultraviolet sunlight passes through the lens of the eye. Consistently wearing good sunglasses is a priority! (Need to work on this, personally. I can never find a pair that fits comfortably on a wide face with a small nose.)
We also get free radicals from environmental toxins and from just the wear and tear of life. Taking a high quality antioxidant supplement is important for your eyes, and for your health in general, especially if you don’t chow down heavily on the vegetables — as in nine to fifteen servings per day. (Who does that? No one I know!)
Smokers are at risk. They are 200% to 300% more likely to develop it than non-smokers. If you need another good reason to stop — here it is!
Heredity is a factor. If you have a family history of macular degeneration, you are statistically more likely to develop it. Can’t help that, but you can take extra precautions if you know you are genetically predisposed to the condition.
Adult diabetics are prone to get macular degeneration. It’s another of the negative effects of too much insulin, apparently. Eating a low glycemic diet and keeping the disease under good control is important here.
People with high blood pressure are more in danger of developing it, as are people who have trouble absorbing nutrients through their digestive tracts. It’s another example of the domino-effect. If you have one health issue that goes untreated, it triggers others. It’s important that you deal with health issues promptly when they come up. Waiting until things are worse is a recipe for disaster in more than one body system.
Let me hasten to add that this disease is serious and that a doctor needs to be monitoring your care. I’m not in any way advocating that you get all your medical advice from the Internet! However, if you have risk factors for macular degeneration, we will look at preventive measures in our next blog in this series.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown