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Updated on December 28, 2020

Diet and Helpful Tips for Age-Related Macula Degeneration

Age-Related Macula Degeneration (also known as AMD) is the most common cause of visual loss in adults in the developed world.  It affects the macula which is the most sensitive part of the retina.  Although there is no cure for dry AMD, here are some helpful tips for patients.

1. Stop smoking if you smoke. Ask your doctor or community pharmacists for help to quit the habit.

2. Change your eating habit to a more healthy diet to include more fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants.  Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli contain lutein and zeaxanthin which may benefit people with macular degeneration. Eat foods containing high levels of zinc include high-protein foods such beef, fish and lamb while non-meat sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, whole-grain cereals and whole-wheat bread.

3. Avoid fried foods with saturated fats.  Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in salmon and tuna) may lower the risk of advanced macular degeneration

4. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, patients with intermediate or advanced AMD who take a high-dose formulation of antioxidant vitamins and minerals may help reduce the risk of vision loss.  The formulation consists of

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E
  • 10 mg of lutein
  • 2 mg of zeaxanthin
  • 80 mg of zinc (as zinc oxide)
  • 2 mg of copper (as cupric oxide)

Click to watch the Mayo Clinic video on AMD

Here are some useful tips to help cope with your changing vision:

  • Ask your eye doctor or optician to check your spectacle prescription. If new glasses don’t help, do consult a low vision specialist for other optical aid
  • Use magnifying devices which can help with reading and other close-up work such as sewing
  • Increase the font size on your computer, mobile phone or tablet screen
  • Use electronic reading books or large-print books
  • Buy special appliances made for patients with poor vision such as talking clocks
  • Use brighter lights in your home to help with reading and reduce the risk of falling
  • Check your vision regularly (at least once a week) using Amsler Grid Chart to monitor your AMD
Normal eye
AMD eye

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If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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