What is AMD and how can we prevent it?

 

From thinning hair to sagging skin, there are many ways our bodies deteriorate as we age and that includes changes to our eyes. As we get older, we’re more likely to develop a condition known as Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD. So, what actually is AMD? How is it caused and what can we do to prevent it?

Signs and symptoms of AMD

AMD is a disease that affects your central vision. The centre of your vision comes from an area on your retina called the ‘macula’. It’s essential for reading, recognising faces and detail, but is susceptible to ageing changes.
In the early stages of AMD you may not notice any problems with your vision, but as it advances it could cause distorted vision when you look at straight edges. Over time, this can become missing areas in your central vision.

What are the different types of AMD?

There are two main types of AMD:

  • Dry AMD is the more common of the two. It causes gradual loss of central vision but never total blindness.
  • Wet AMD is when the cells of the macula stop working properly and your body starts growing new blood cells that cause swelling and bleeding under the macula. This condition develops very quickly causing serious changes in a short time.

Risk factors for AMD

Age, lifestyle, genetics and our environment can make us more likely to have problems with our eyes. Even small changes, such as reducing the amount you smoke, can have a positive effect on eye health. Studies have shown:

  • Age - one in 200 people will develop AMD by age 60 and one in five by age 90. 1
  • Physical inactivity is associated with late AMD. 2
  • Family history of AMD increases your risk. 2
  • Smoking notably increases your risk of getting AMD and for it to progress.2
  • Poor Diet - high in saturated fat and processed foods can increase your risk of AMD. 2

    Diet and lifestyle tips to prevent AMD

    AMD is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, and whilst there are treatments to limit the progression of the condition, they can’t restore vision to normal levels.3
    However, we do know that diet and lifestyle are effective at reducing the risk of developing this condition. For instance, good dietary intake of fish, providing omega-3 intake, is recommended for those that have a diet that lacks this, as well as other important vitamins.2

    • Eat a healthy, balanced diet to promote good eye health
    • Try to avoid a diet high in calories and low in nutrients
    • Limit processed foods or those that are high in added sugar, salt and saturated fat
    • Aim for 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
    • Eat two servings of oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel, each week
    • Take a nutritional supplement designed for eye health

    It can be hard sometimes to get what you need with diet alone. Nutrof Total® is a one-a-day supplement that contains a unique blend of essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, including Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and Resveratrol. It’s a great option if, like many people, you find it hard to get the correct nutrients from your diet alone.

    Make some small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle to help protect your vision and give your eyes some extra Théa Loving Care with Nutrof Total®, available to order now from our online shop. If you have any concerns about your eye sight as you age we recommend you speak with your local optometrist.

     

    1. National Ophthalmology Database Audit (2023). First NOD Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) audit annual report. Available at: https://nodaudit.org.uk/sites/default/files/2023-02/NOD%20AMD%20Audit%20Full%20Annual%20Report%202023_0.pdf
    2. NICE (2022) Macular degeneration - age-related: What are the risk factors? Available at https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/macular-degeneration-age-related/background-information/risk-factors/
    3. https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/about-the-eye/a-z-eye-conditions/age-related-macular-degeneration/