September: Love Your Eyes!!
Our first topic of the HEALTHY AGING MONTH is macular care.
As we all grow and age together - you as our patients and us as your care providers - we want to share ways to grow old "gracefully" together. Ways to love your eyes by being proactive at caring for them!
Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. The disease process causes damage to the center part of our retina called our macular area. This is the area of vision that is responsible for for central vision - driving, reading, face recognition. In the early phases of the disease, you may not notice a change to your vision. Over time this disease robs us of our ability to see in the straight ahead position.
Risk factors for this devastating condition include:
Race - AMD is more common in Caucasions than amount African-Americans, Asians and Hispanic populations
Family History and Genetics - Having a family history of macular degeneration increases our risk
Systemic health and lifestyle factors such as hypertension, and body mass index
There are risks factors beyond our control listed above, but there are also risks that we can IMPACT!
Be proactive - LOVE your eyes and health!
Eat a healthy diet rich in nutrients - especially phytonutrients such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin!
Eat fruits and vegetables and fatty fish such as salmon!
Exercise regularly- improve and maintain a good body mass index!
Control your blood pressure and blood sugar!
Wear lenses that filter out UV and BLUE LIGHT. Evidence is mounting that BLUE LIGHT from devices may contribute to photoreceptor cell death which becomes macular degeneration!
Get your ANNUAL retinal exam - early detection is the KEY to insuring that we are able to BEST care for your eyes and vision!
What's in the front lines of research in AMD:
There are studies looking at gut microbiome. These studies point to the importance of healthy clean eating. Fruits and vegetables along with fatty fish such as salmon have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant characteristics that improves our gut microbiome. Studies are also pointed to taking probiotics to improve the environment of our gut health. AMD is associated with inflammation! The importance of an anti-AMD diet is really at the top of our list each day as our busy life often makes it more challenging to eat a nutrient rich diet that is rich in veggies and fish!
As your care providers, it is our passion to stay on top of research so that we can provide you with the best care and advice.
Thank you for reading. Please send us comments if you find this information helpful, if you have questions or if you have suggestions!
Remember... "Two eyes to last a lifetime!" Dr. Heidi Pham-Murphy Wishing you healthy eating and healthy eyes!
Dr. Heidi Pham-Murphy