Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Risk Factors

While taking ocular vitamins is an effective way to help preserve your vision and protect your eyes, there are some risk factors that are beyond your control. But you still should be aware of them.

Be Aware of the Risks

  • Age -- According to eye experts, age is the greatest risk factor for AMD. At age 50, you have just a 2% risk, but that figure jumps to nearly 30% by age 70.
  • Family History -- An immediate blood relative has AMD, you are at greater risk for developing it.
  • Gender -- Women may be more susceptible to developing AMD than men.
  • Race -- Caucasians may have a greater chance of suffering from AMD.

Minimize Your Risk of Developing AMD

  • Watch your cholesterol -- People with elevated blood cholesterol levels may have an increased risk. If your cholesterol is high, work with your doctor to bring it down.
  • Keep your blood pressure down -- Poor blood circulation due to high blood pressure and other heart related conditions can lower the blood flow to the eyes and contribute to the progression of AMD.  If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, tell your eye doctor.
  • Stop smoking -- Here's another reason to quit. Smoking may increase your risk of AMD.
  • Eat a well balanced diet -- An inadequate intake of antioxidants, consumption of alcohol, and saturated fats can create free radical reactions that may harm the macula
  • Protect yourself in the sun -- Wear sunglasses. Significant cumulative light exposure to the eye may increase the risk of AMD.