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-   -   Can you Prevent Blindness? (

janet 09-28-2004 07:32 AM

Can you Prevent Blindness?
Macular degeneration (MD) -

MD an eye disorder affecting more than 13 million Americans - is the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 55. Since the health of the macula depends on a very rich blood supply, anything that interferes with circulation can cause damage to the macula and decrease its ability to function.

Choices in diet and lifestyle may affect your vision. Poor choices can reduce the supply of oxygen and vital nutrients to the eye, eventually leading to the death of cells in the retina and macula.

To help prevent macular degeneration and other vision problems, avoid the following:

Smoking. It can decrease blood supply by causing a narrowing of the blood vessels and a thickening of the blood.

A diet high in saturated fat. This can cause plaque build-up along blood vessel walls, including the macular vessels, which impedes blood flow.

A lack of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and lutein. These antioxidants may decrease the ability of plaque to stick to the blood vessel walls, lessening the risk of damage to the tissue.

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