The Eyes Have It: Safeguarding Eye Health With Diet
Are you aware that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible loss of vision worldwide?
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The condition happens when the macula deteriorates. The macula is the paper-thin part at the center of the retina. It contains millions of light-sensitive cells that send visual signals to the brain. It’s also the part that processes our detailed, straight-ahead vision, also known as central vision.
When the macula is damaged, distorted or blurred vision and blind spots can occur, affecting many daily activities like reading, recognizing faces and driving. AMD has been linked with pathological factors like chronic oxidative stress and inflammation.
There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. With dry AMD, macula cells slowly break down, forming yellowish deposits called drusen. As drusen increases, the central vision gets blurred. Eventually, it’ll cause a complete central vision loss.
With time, the dry form may even change into a wet form. Wet AMD is usually preceded by the dry form and is considered an advanced case. When the dry form worsens, abnormal and fragile blood vessels behind the macula may leak fluid and blood. The accumulation lifts the macula, distorts vision and damages the macula. People with the wet form see wavy lines instead of straight, plus distorted straight-ahead vision. Their central vision can be lost rapidly, causing legal blindness.
Macular degeneration is a form of artery disease. Like other degenerative diseases, diet and lifestyle play a significant role.
Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration
Studies have shown that the same risk factors that predict coronary heart disease development and progression also apply to AMD. These include obesity, high cholesterol and an inactive lifestyle. It’s also proven that a diet high in all kinds of fats (trans fats, animal fats, monounsaturated fats) and a diet low in fiber (fruits and vegetables) increase the risk of AMD.
These are the well-known options in dealing with AMD, but a healthy lifestyle is encouraged to protect vision and improve overall health. Not only that, but many vegetarian enthusiasts attest that this diet can actually reverse AMD.
Let’s hear from the experts and learn whether there’s a correlation between a plant-based diet and preventing and reversing AMD.
Join Dr. Lela Lewis and her friends as they discuss how diet can actually help people get over their macular degeneration.
Dr. Duane McKey is president of Adventist World Radio (AWR360°), which uses shortwave radio, national radio networks and local FM stations to reach more than three-quarters of the world with inspiring Bible-based messages in local dialects. Through his positions in church leadership and outreach, he has held public meetings on all inhabited continents, resulting in hundreds of thousands coming to know Jesus. He loves sharing inspirational stories of how God is work