The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina that provides our straight-ahead or central vision. Over time it starts to wear out and break down. In some patients it breaks down at an earlier point and you can lose straight-ahead vision. That’s called macular degeneration.
There are preventable things we know you can do to minimize your chances of macular degeneration. Don’t develop diabetes. If you do have diabetes, keep it in check. Stop smoking. Control your blood pressure. Wear good ultraviolet sunglasses outside. Those cumulative effects can hurt your central vision.
There are reports that some nutrients, such as lutein and Omega-3 fatty acids, can minimize the risk of macular degeneration, but those reports have not been confirmed. There are vitamins for people with macular degeneration that can slow the process. They’re not shown to be of benefit to those who don’t have it.
Otherwise, research is ongoing. Family history of macular degeneration suggests you may be at higher risk, as are those with lighter-colored eyes. For your individual-risk profile consult your Cool Springs or Donelson Eyecare doctor.