Macular Degeneration: A Look At Risk Factors You Can Control

Health & Medical Blog

Macular degeneration is a serious eye condition that causes peripheral vision loss in its early stages, eventually progressing to the point of legal blindness, especially if left untreated. The sad thing about this condition is that many risk factors are not within your control. Those who have parents with macular degeneration, for instance, are at a high risk of developing it themselves. Age is another risk factor you cannot control. Fortunately, there are some macular degeneration risk factors that you can control. Doing all that you can to limit these risk factors will not completely rule out your chances of developing the condition, but it will reduce them.


Studies show that smokers are three times as likely to develop macular degeneration than non-smokers. Thus, if you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your eye health. If you have tried quitting smoking before and have failed, try a different method this time around. Support groups are a good choice, since talking with people who are going through the same struggles as you may give you more motivation to quit. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe you a medication to help you quit smoking and protect your eyes.

Sun Exposure

Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement. They also protect your eyes from the harsh sun rays that can increase your risk of macular degeneration over time. Make sure you choose sunglasses that protect against UV rays, specifically. Keep one pair in your car and a second pair in your purse or travel bag so that you always have a set handy. If you wear prescription glasses, talk to your eye doctor about getting prescription sunglasses so you do not have to choose between sun protection and being able to see.


Scientists have also identified a link between obesity and macular degeneration. The larger a person's waist, it seems, the higher their risk of developing macular degeneration. If you are overweight, work with your doctor and perhaps a nutritionist to devise a weight loss plan. Remember that some weight loss is better than none. You don't have to get down to a size four to reduce your risk of macular degeneration -- you just have to work on losing weight at a slow, steady pace through healthy diet and exercise.

If you are concerned about macular degeneration because it runs in your family, talk to your eye doctor about other methods you may be able to use to reduce your risk.



19 November 2015

Hype up Your Hearing

I knew that my hearing wasn’t as good as it had once been, but I was still upset when my doctor told me that I had a significant hearing loss in both ears, and that I was going to need hearing aids if I wanted to participate more fully in my day to day life. But then I started researching hearing aids. I was thrilled to find out that there were small, barely visible aids that could help me hear without marking me as hearing impaired on first glance. Even better, the hearing aids were much more advanced than I’d thought. The ones that I chose can actually help cancel out environmental noise, like the clatter of a loud restaurant, so that I can focus on conversation with the waitress or the person across the table. My hearing aids have really improved my life.