Eating Well to Prevent Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) comes in two forms, wet and dry. The dry form is the most common and unfortunately, has no treatment. However, dietary control and supplements have been shown to have an effect on the rate of progression of macular disease such as AMD.
 

Our ophthalmologists are happy to provide advice on how to potentially slow the progression of the disease through dietary means.

In general, these recommendations are, firstly, to eat a healthy diet rich in fish (containing omega 3 and 6 fish oils). It is best to eat fish two to three times a week, eat lots of coloured vegetables (reds and greens) and coloured fruit (which contain Lutein, the pigment concentrated at the macula). A handful of nuts daily may also be beneficial.


Also it is important to limit your red meat, margarine and sugar intake, as a high intake of both saturated and unsaturated fats has been shown to increase the risk of AMD.
 

Antioxidants, such as those in tea, are great for preventing AMD.
 

Smoking
Studies have consistently shown that smoking is the most significant modifiable risk factor for AMD. These studies have shown that smokers are two to three times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers.

 

Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements can be helpful, but should not take priority over maintaining a healthy diet.

  • Macuvision vitamins may be taken depending upon the advice of your doctor. They may occasionally cause nausea or abdominal bloating.
  • Fish oil capsules may be taken if you don’t eat fish.
  • Lutein tablets may be of extra benefit however the evidence supporting its use is limited. If you take these in the recommended doses they rarely cause side effects.