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Keeping an eye on macular degeneration

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Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss among people 50 and over. One in seven people over 50 will suffer from the condition that gradually causes damage to the macular – the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision and for letting us see objects that are straight ahead.

As your eyes age, the retina and macular start to deteriorate, reducing your sharp vision that helps you see finer details such as outlines and people's faces. You may also start to notice an increased difficulty when driving and reading. As macular degeneration progresses, a blurred area near the centre of vision could develop which may grow bigger or appear as a blank area in your vision.

Common symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision (may be worse in one eye)
  • Straight lines may look wavy, broken or distorted
  • You may not see colours as clearly
  • Text looks washed out

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend seeing an eye specialist.

Tips for preventing macular degeneration

  • Have regular eye check-ups
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in leafy green and yellow vegetables such as kale, silverbeet, corn and pumpkin which are sources of lutein and zeaxanthin; wholegrains and fibre; and fish, especially oily fish high in omega-3 fats

Talk to your Unichem Pharmacist about supplements

The Age Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS I and II) are 2 major clinical trials that identified a specific formula of antioxidants including high dose zinc that significantly reduced the relative risk of macular degeneration progression and delayed vision loss.

These antioxidants include zinc, copper, vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin.

There are a number of natural supplements that your Unichem Pharmacist can recommend to help boost your levels of these vitamins and minerals and help support healthy vision in aging.