Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the UK, affecting about 600,000 people. There are many risk factors but, says the Macular Society, lifestyle changes could help protect your eyes
Eat your greens
Vitamins A, C and E are thought to maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eye. They are found in many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, for example oranges and tomatoes. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli are also great for the eyes.
Have your eyes tested
A regular eye test is an important health check for everyone. You should have an eye examination every two years or as often as recommended by your optician, even if you don’t have any problems with your vision.
Protect your eyes from blue and ultraviolet light all year round, not just in the summer. Close-fitting or wraparound frames provide the most protection, stopping more sunlight from reaching your eyes.
Smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to develop age-related macular degeneration, and smokers with a genetic predisposition to the condition are 20 times more likely to get it. It is the biggest modifiable risk factor.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Diet and lifestyle play a major role when it comes to eye health. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure. Eat a diet low in saturated fats, don’t drink alcohol to excess and exercise regularly.