Does Poor Air Quality Increase Your Risks for AMD?

There has been new research that suggested that poor air quality can increase the chance of developing age-related macular degeneration or AMD. Poor air quality can be seen when you live in a congested city. Age-related macular degeneration is known to be the leading cause of blindness.

The British Journal of Ophthalmology published a study where they found that the residents of highly polluted areas are at least 8% more likely to be diagnosed with AMD than the residents who live in less polluted areas. People are wondering how the condition develops. Age-related macular degeneration develops when the part of the eye responsible for central vision or macula is damaged.

A clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Raj Maturi, MD, mentioned that the new study shows a connection between the risk of AMD and air pollution. However, the mechanism involved is not yet determined. The only thing that they know is that when there is increased inflammation, the risk of dry macular degeneration also increases.

How Can I Determine if I Have AMD?

In the early stages of AMD, people who have it do not notice any changes to their vision. Loss of central vision, blurry vision, and seeing “wavy” lines are some symptoms of having AMD. In some cases although rare, there has been a change in their color perception. Make sure to have your eyes checked regularly by an ophthalmologist.

The retina will be checked by an eye doctor to see if there is any necessary treatment to be done. Make sure to monitor your vision every day and notify the eye doctor right away if you experience changes in vision especially if you have AMD.

How to Lower the Risk of Vision Loss From Macular Degeneration

middle aged woman undergoing eye exam

Several factors are out of our control. The only factor that we can control is our lifestyle. Implementing changes in your lifestyle can lower your risk of vision loss from AMD. These changes include avoiding smoking, having an eye-healthy diet, and being physically active by exercising.

According to Dr. Maturi, genetics contribute to the risk of macular degeneration for some people. It is inevitable but the risk factors that can be modified are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. The treatments are most effective if diagnosed early. Schedule a regular comprehensive eye exam to lower the risk of vision loss.

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