Things You Can’t Change
Some of the things that contribute to macular degeneration include your family history and age. While you can’t control these risk factors, it’s important to know about them.
- Age - AMD signs are present in about 14% of people 55 – 64, 20% of age 65 – 75 year olds and up to 40% of people over age 75.
- Gender - AMD is more common in women than in men.
- Race - AMD is more common in Caucasians than other races, but it exists in every ethnicity.
- Eye Color - AMD is more common in people with blue eyes.
- AMD in One Eye - If you already have AMD in one eye, your chance of developing it in the other eye is higher. Dry AMD in one eye may predispose you to wet AMD in the other eye.
- Genetics - If others in your family have macular degeneration, you have a greater risk of developing it.
Risk Factors You Can Change
Other risk factors include lifestyle habits that you can change.
- Smoking – Smoking increases your risk, especially if AMD runs in your family
- Diet – A poor diet, low in antioxidants and high in saturated fats and processed foods.
- Obesity – People who are very overweight have a higher risk of AMD.
- Exercise – A sedentary lifestyle contributes to AMD.
- Cholesterol – High cholesterol is bad for your eyes and your heart.
- Blood Pressure – High blood pressure may be involved in AMD.
- Sun Exposure – Ultraviolet and blue light from the sun and electronics can damage the eye.