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Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age Related Macular Degeneration or ARMD is an eye disorder associated with aging that results in damaged sharp and central vision and affects an estimated 1.15 million Australians 50 years and older1. It is the leading cause of vision loss in adults and the effects are permanent; however, you can reduce risk by routinely consuming nutrients or vitamins formulated specifically for eye health.

Risk factors:

  • Over 40 years of age
  • Family history of macular degeneration
  • Smoker: current or prior
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Overweight
  • Low macular pigment
  • Poor diet (eat your vegetables)
  • Sun exposure (wear your sunglasses)
  • Drusen (tiny yellow or white deposits under the retina identified by your optometrist)

Prevention:

Current technology can now detect your risk of developing this sight-threatening disease years before it develops. Ask your optometrist if they have an instrument to measure macular pigment as you are much more like to develop ARMD if you have low macular pigment. If that sounds confusing, an easy change you can make is by improving your diet. In fact, macular pigment is often controlled through diet, so don’t forget to eat your vegetables because they may save your sight. You may even want to talk to your optometrist about taking specific vitamins (zeaxanthin and lutein) that can help prevent or slow ARMD.

Detecting ARMD:

You can test yourself for signs of ARMD every day in about 10 seconds! An Amsler grid is an easy to use self-monitoring tool that can help detect changes in your vision. A free magnetized Amsler grid is available to order from Macular Disease Foundation Australia along with an information kit here. Let your optometrist know immediately should you notice any sudden changes in vision.


1 Macular Disease Foundation Australia, About Macular Degeneration, https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/content/what-is-macular-degeneration, Accessed 1 February 2018