Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that primarily affects people 50 or older. While it can lead to the loss of central vision, early detection and treatment can help your elderly loved one keep his or her eyes healthy. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Placer County in-home care, has put together a list of ways to potentially prevent and remedy the effects of AMD.
In the earliest stage of AMD, there is currently no treatment. Most people don’t have any signs or symptoms of the condition during this stage, and it is normally discovered during a routine eye exam. Regular eye exams can ensure AMD is detected early and lifestyle changes can be made to keep the condition from advancing. Ophthalmologists recommend seniors with early AMD get exams every 6 to 12 months to monitor the condition. If your loved one’s condition has already advanced, regular exams can determine how treatment is working and what other options may need to be considered for him or her.
If your loved one has early AMD, he or she can prevent the disease from advancing by adopting healthy lifestyle changes. People who eat a nutritious diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables and fish, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking are less likely to develop AMD or experience complications if they have already developed the condition. Many of these healthy lifestyle changes can be made easier for your loved one with the help of an hourly caregiver in Placer County.
Vitamins and Supplements
Two large-scale studies by the National Eye Institute, AREDS and AREDS 2, found seniors who took certain vitamins and supplements had positive effects when experiencing intermediate to late stage AMD. These vitamins and supplements include:
- 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 80 mg of zinc oxide
- 400 international units of vitamin E
- 15 mg of beta-carotene
- 2 mg of copper (cupric oxide)
If your loved one regularly smokes, his or her doctor may encourage substituting a combination of 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin instead of taking beta-carotene.
In the advanced stages of AMD, high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor secreted into the eye cause the formation of new blood vessels that lead to vision loss. Anti-angiogenic drugs, which are injected directly into the eye after the surface has been numbed, stop these new blood vessels from forming and can restore vision that was previously lost.
As with any health condition, encourage your loved one to talk with his or her doctor if symptoms of AMD begin to develop or existing symptoms continue to be problematic. To learn more about senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to helping with a variety of daily tasks, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Placer County. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.