What are the causes of age-related macular degeneration?

The causes of age related macular degeneration (AMD) are currently unknown. However, researchers do know that the triggers are complex and are related to both hereditary and environmental factors.
Scientists are aware of what can increase your risk of developing macular degeneration. Some factors that can increase your risk of the eye condition are:

  • If you are over 65 years of age – age is the main risk factor for developing AMD
  • If you carry specific genes and you have a family history of the eye condition - although there is rarely a hereditary pattern, it is known that people with a family history of macular degeneration have an increased chance of developing the condition
  • If you are either a smoker or are regularly exposed to smoke - in a number of studies, smoking has been linked to the development of AMD. It has been shown that stopping smoking can reduce the risk of AMD developing.
  • If you have had a disease which affects your heart and blood vessels - studies have shown that high blood pressure is linked to the likelihood of developing AMD.
  • If your diet is low in fruit and vegetables but high in saturated fats -  Research has shown that people who have a poor diet and have a low intake of antioxidants may be at an increased risk of developing AMD. Excessive alcohol consumption may also deplete the levels of antioxidants in the body. 

If you are concerned about your chances of developing macular degeneration, get in touch with an eye doctor. An eye doctor will be able to provide you with the right information, and the best steps for you to take, to decrease your chances of developing macular generation.

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