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It’s estimated that within the next 15 years, nearly 3 million Americans risk losing most of their vision as a result of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD affects the macula, the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision, which can lead to vision loss in the center of the visual field. “Dry” AMD, in which cells in the macula break down, while less common, accounts for 90% of serious vision loss. It is caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak blood and fluid under the retina, causing macular inflammation and distorted vision.

Can AMD Be Treated?
At this time there is no cure for macular degeneration, but treatments may slow down vision loss.

For dry AMD, vitamin therapy has been shown to be somewhat effective. Several laser and drug therapy treatments are available for the wet form. The key to combat vision loss, however, is to catch AMD early through an annual eye exam.

Does Lifestyle Make a Difference?

Your lifestyle plays a role in reducing your risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration:
1. Eat a healthy diet which includes green leafy vegetables and fish.
2. Reduce saturated fat and cholesterol.
3. Don’t Smoke.
4. Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays to prevent eye damage that can contribute to Macular degeneration.
5. Maintain normal blood pressure.
6. Watch your weight.
7. Exercise. A recent study showed that those who engage in physical activity at least three times a week were 70% likely to develop the more serious type of AMD.

Source: WebMD and Vision Service Plan as printed in BETTER HEALTH
Volume 23 Number 1 Spring 2007

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, guide us in caring for our eyes as we nurture our bodies. Grant us not only the ability to see with our eyes. But also the vision to look to you for wisdom and direction each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.