According to optometrist Dr. Ana Juricic there is an increase in the number of individuals suffering from age related macular degeneration. Not only that the situation is alarming as this disease now is seen among younger people. She says that macular degeneration and cataracts are found at an increased rate among the younger age group. Dr. Juricic also advices her patients to take certain precautionary measures which would help to prevent blindness. Regular eye checkups, daily use of sunglasses and healthy lifestyles can help people ward off serious eye disease. She says that Canadians have increased eye disorders.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be genetic but environmental factors can also contribute to the disease. The North Americans are not taking all these warnings seriously and many studies also point out to the fact that ultraviolet rays affect one's vision. Exposure to sun can disrupt the back of the eye and lead to early forms of cataracts. She advises sunglasses with polarized lens and an anti-reflective coating on the back of the lens which would reduce the glare of the sun and allow only horizontal sunlight to come through. For golfers she suggests polarized sunglasses with impact resistant lenses, which won't shatter if hit by a golf ball. Factors that affect AMD are age, genetics and smoking.
It is more common in women, blue-eyed Caucasians, patients with increased blood pressure and high cholesterol. According to statistics it is found that 30% of Canadians between the ages of 55 and 74 have some degree of macular degeneration while more
than 40% of people 75 years and older have some degree of macular degeneration. The macula is a light sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye in the central area of the retina. This allows seeing the finer details such as recognizing faces, words in a book or images. Nutrition rich in antioxidant such as green leafy vegetables and colorful fruit, vitamins and minerals play an important role in preventing macular degeneration.