The phrase 'You don't know what you have until it's gone' is certainly true when it comes to eyesight. Vision 2020, a national body related to eye health, reports that when it comes to existing eye conditions, 9% of those non-indigenous Australians diagnosed with an eye condition have age-related macular degeneration. As someone who is mindful of their eye health, you are concerned about losing your sight. While you cannot stop yourself from aging, there are three other lifestyle changes you can embrace to reduce the chance of this disorder happening to you.
Watch Your Weight
When you gain weight, the weight in your eyes remains the same. But, there are side effects of being overweight which do affect your eye health. One big problem of being overweight is your heart has to work harder to move blood around your body. The blood vessels in your eyes are delicate, and if your heart pushes the blood too vigorously, then your eye vessels may burst. Additionally, it is shown that when age-related macular degeneration takes hold, people who are overweight are in a higher risk category of advanced degeneration. Advanced degeneration includes irreversible vision loss.
If you need just one reason to quit smoking, then consider the effect it has on your eyesight. An Australian Government fact sheet states that smokers are 4 times more likely to get age-related macular degeneration that those who do not smoke. They also warn you could get this disease a decade earlier than non-smokers. The chemicals in your cigarettes plus the smoke generated do not do your eyes any favours. Consequently, quitting now is a great way to immediately reduce your chances of eye disease.
Watch Your Blood Pressure
If you have not previously been taking any notice of your blood pressure, now is a great time to start monitoring it. The best method to do this is by having an annual check-up with your local GP. High blood pressure means your blood is being pumped around the body at a higher pressure than is healthy. Again, this places the blood vessels in your eyes at risk of bursting. Additionally, in 2013 a study suggested that long-term high pulse pressure could increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration development.
Making immediate lifestyle changes reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. If it has already begun in your eyes, then a specialist has advice on ways to stop this disorder from advancing any further.