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The truth is, there are no secrets or unique tips for a lifestyle that can help you maintain your vision and independence. Chances are you are already familiar with and maybe already practice many of the common recommendations. The real opportunity is to make good choices more often!
Here are a few healthy lifestyle tips that may also benefit your eye health:
Don't smoke. Smokers are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop macular degeneration.1
Exercise regularly. Not only will exercise help with blood flow, it can lighten your mood as well.2 Beneficial exercise can range from lifting light weights or walking around the neighborhood to a more rigorous schedule of running or hiking. Speak with your doctor about what level of exercise might be appropriate for you.
Eat a diet that makes sense for you. Follow the rules set by your health care team, making modifications where possible for food preferences and availability.
Protect your eyes outside. Sunlight may increase the risk of developing macular degeneration.3
Track your eye health. It is important to make and keep appointments with your eye doctor and to follow his or her guidelines for monitoring progressive conditions like wet macular degeneration between office visits. One way to keep track of your vision is to use an Amsler grid, a square with intersecting horizontal and vertical lines.Click here for more information.
1 Gottlieb JL. Age-related macular degeneration. JAMA. 2002;288:2233-6.2 Penedo FJ and Dahn JR. Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2005;18(2):189-193.3 Sui GY et al. Is sunlight exposure a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2013;97:389-394.