Are You at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Are You at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Given that macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss over the age of 70, it’s important to consider your risk for this prevalent condition. 

The macula is a part of the retina that contributes to your color, reading, and central vision. With dry macular degeneration, the retinal pigment beneath the retina atrophies, leading to a loss of photoreceptors in the center of the eye. Wet macular degeneration is generally caused by the leakage of fluid or blood into the macula from abnormal blood vessels. 

Risk Factors For Macular Degeneration

Female Gender

Women are more likely to develop macular degeneration than men. 

Smoking

Smoking is perhaps the largest risk factor for macular degeneration. Smoking increases a woman’s chances of developing macular degeneration by 600%. Women who smoke are also 600% more likely to get the severe form of the disease. 

Genetics

Genetics plays a role in the development of macular degeneration. Changes in specific genes have been linked to this condition. 

Age

Macular degeneration is the most common in patients over the age of 60. 

Lifelong Poor Diet

A poor diet over the course of a lifetime can increase your risk of developing macular degeneration. Conversely, a diet rich in dark, leafy greens and other natural sources of lutein and low in saturated fat can help you maintain healthy eyes into older age. 

Obesity

Obesity can also increase your risk of developing macular degeneration and increase the chances that it will progress into a more severe case. 

Macular degeneration often goes undiagnosed and untreated, with the misconception that nothing can be done about it. Here at The Eye Clinic of Florida, we focus on early detection and offer the latest treatment options for macular degeneration. Contact us today to book an appointment!