In previous articles we have talked about AMD - Age Related Macular Degeneration.
It would now be a good idea, I think, to investigate the causes.
- Why do people get AMD?
- Are there any common factors to take into consideration?
- "What chances do I have of contracting AMD?"
So let's examine that together shall we?
Here are some of the common factors:
Without doubt, as in my own case, this is something that can be inherited through the DNA. So if you know of someone else in your family who have had problems with age related macular degeneration then it would pay you to make an early visit to the doctor for a diagnosis, and to do so on a regular basis for checkups.
As this is called "age related" macular degeneration it's pretty obvious that age is a major contributory factor.
Some statistics indicate that in your 50s there is possibly a 2% chance of having AMD but by the age of 75 this is nearly 30%. So make sure that in your annual checkup you include or ask for eye tests, mentioning that you have a relative who has had AMD.
For some unknown reason AMD is more frequent in blue-eyed Caucasians than any other race.
Without doubt smoking can be a contributory factor to AMD. Research has shown that if you are a smoker you have 2 to 3 times as much chance of contracting AMD as a non-smoker. And the more you smoke the quicker it takes effect!
As with many other diseases, nutrition, or lack of it, can have a very powerful effect on your likelihood of suffering from this.
A diet high in cholesterol is a recipe for disaster in anyone's book and if you have a proclivity to macular degeneration this will certainly accentuate it.
Lack of exercise
Inactivity and the associated obesity will heighten the progression of macular degeneration if you should contract it.
Recent research has suggested that exposure to sunlight and in particular ultraviolet light can make one more sensitive to the onset of AMD.
Please note that research into these areas mentioned above is not complete and although I'm expressing the general view of many experts in the area I cannot with any certainty vouch for 100% accuracy and would not want you to get overly worried if any of the above factors apply to you..
I can only stress over and over and over again that if you are in a risk group you should have regular eye checkups.
So much for the causes.
What can we do to alleviate the onset and the progression of AMD?
We will leave that to another article.