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Top 10 Tips for Macular Degeneration Patients

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Updated June 22, 2007

Making a few simple lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on your life if you have macular degeneration. The following tips may benefit the health of your retina and improve your overall quality of life.

1. Monitor your vision daily with an Amsler grid.

The amsler grid is a simple test that can be used at home. Checking your vision regularly will help detect changes that may require treatment.

2. Take a multi-vitamin with zinc.

Zinc, lutein and other antioxidants are essential nutrients found in the retina. People with AMD may be deficient in these nutrients.

3. Eat lots of dark leafy green vegetables.

Try to incorporate vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, kale and turnip greens.

4. Wear sunglasses that have UV protection.

Ultraviolet rays may cause damage to the pigment cells in the retina.

5. Quit smoking.

Smoking decreases the efficiency of blood vessels in the retina by impairing circulation in the body.

6. Get regular exercise.

Regular exercise improves the body’s overall health and increases circulation throughout the body.

7. See a low vision specialist.

Low vision specialists are trained to help visually impaired patients improve their quality of life. They can recommend appropriate magnifiers, reading aids, practical tips, and many resources.

8. Try large-print books.

Check bookstores and libraries for large-print books. Many have special sections reserved for these books.

9. Read with a halogen light.

Halogen lights produce less glare and disperse the light better than standard light bulbs, making print easier to see.

10. Try a hand-held magnifier.

Check the drugstore for a magnifier. These can dramatically increase print size.
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