Changing your diet could help prevent late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and save your eyesight, according to recent research out of the University at Buffalo — The State University of New York (SUNY).
Researchers found that study participant who ate too much of the unhealthy foods that are common in a Western diet tripled their risk of developing the eye condition.
Money Talks News' recent article entitled “Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age” explains that late-stage AMD affects central vision. It prevents affected people from driving and performing other daily activities. There's also no cure for the condition.
The article says that more than two million Americans ages 50 and older have late-stage AMD. The disease is more common in women than men, and by age 80, 1 in 10 Americans suffers from it.
The results of the research were published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
The type of diet found to increase the risk of late-stage AMD includes:
- Fried foods;
- Refined grains;
- Red meat and processed meats; and
- High-fat dairy products.
Amy Millen, the study's senior author and associate professor, and associate chair of the University at Buffalo's Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, noted in an announcement, “What we observed in this study was that people who had no AMD or early AMD at the start of our study and reported frequently consuming unhealthy foods were more likely to develop vision-threatening, late-stage disease approximately 18 years later.”
The article explains that early age-related macular degeneration typically doesn't cause symptoms. Instead, it's diagnosed by a physician who sees abnormalities when examining photos of a patient's retina. By contrast, those who progress to late AMD often experience a diminishment of their vision as either atrophy or a buildup of new blood vessels impacts the macula.
Therefore, if you've been diagnosed with early AMD — a group that includes more than 9 million Americans — or you simply want to lower your risk of late-stage AMD, you may want to drop your white-bread morning toast or evening hamburger.
As Millen says: “Our work provides additional evidence that diet matters. From a public health standpoint, we can tell people that if you have early AMD, it is likely in your best interest to limit your intake of processed meat, fried food, refined grains and high-fat dairy to preserve your vision over time.”
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Reference: Money Talks News (April 18, 2020) “Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age”