Age-related macular degeneration can come on all of a sudden, with little warning signs or symptoms noted until the disease has progressed. While there is not yet a cure for the nearly 11 million people it impacts in the U.S., it’s encouraging to know there are steps that can be taken to slow the progression of the disease. For instance, the home care professionals at THE MEDICAL TEAM suggest the following:
Know the signs. Understanding the most common and often innocuous symptoms of age-related macular degeneration can allow you to seek treatment sooner. Be on the lookout for:
- Blurring of words when reading printed material
- Vision problems when driving
- Requiring brighter light when reading or performing activities such as puzzles or knitting
- Distortions in vision such as the appearance of straight lines that appear bent
- Trouble with face recognition
Improve overall health. Recent studies indicate a correlation between healthy living and the prevention of macular degeneration. Making healthy lifestyle choices will, of course, provide benefits to overall health and wellbeing as well. In particular, be sure to:
- Include plenty of green, leafy vegetables and reduce the amount of fat in your diet
- Always wear UV-protecting sunglasses when out in the sun
- Maintain a healthy BMI
- Stop (or never start) smoking
Make eye care a priority. Annual, comprehensive eye exams are recommended for everyone over age 60. And if any of the early warning signs are detected, schedule an additional appointment with the ophthalmologist immediately.
There are also a variety of adaptive aids and technologies available to make life easier to manage with macular degeneration, such as prescription magnifiers, as well as low-vision therapists that can help create a personalized plan of action to address individual concerns. A compilation of helpful resources specific to those with age-related macular degeneration is also available from the BrightFocus Foundation.
For additional resources and hands-on assistance with in-home care for those with age-related macular degeneration, call on the home care experts at THE MEDICAL TEAM. Serving New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro DC area, we’re available for as much or as little assistance as needed. Contact us to learn more.