Top Ways to Treat Age-Related Macular Degeneration

By , 9:00 am on

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that primarily affects people 50 and older. While it can lead to the loss of central vision, early detection and treatment can help your elderly loved one keep his or her eyes healthy. Here’s a list of ways to potentially prevent and remedy the effects of AMD.

Regular Screenings

For the earliest stage of AMD, there’s currently no treatment. Most people don’t have any signs or symptoms of the condition during this stage, and it’s normally discovered during a routine eye exam. Regular eye exams can ensure AMD is detected early and lifestyle changes can be made to keep the condition from advancing. Ophthalmologists recommend seniors with early AMD get exams every 6 to 12 months to monitor the condition. If your loved one’s condition has already advanced, regular exams can determine how treatment is working and what other options may need to be considered.

Seniors with severe vision impairment may need assistance to be able to continue living at home. For many seniors in Kingwood, TX, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Lifestyle Changes

To prevent AMD, encourage your loved one to eat fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidant compounds that protect the retina. Some of the best choices include oranges, grapes, apples, melon, mangos, broccoli, kale, spinach, pumpkin, corn, and squash. Darker berries can be particularly beneficial because they contain bioflavonoids that strengthen the blood vessels surrounding the eyes.

If your loved one has early AMD, he or she can slow the disease’s progress by making healthy lifestyle changes. People who eat a nutritious diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables and fish, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking are less likely to develop AMD or experience complications if they have already developed the condition. 

Many of these healthy lifestyle changes can be made easier for your loved one with the help of a professional caregiver. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Kingwood Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Vitamins & Supplements

Two large-scale studies (AREDS and AREDS2) conducted by the National Eye Institute found seniors who took certain vitamins and supplements every day had positive effects when experiencing intermediate to late-stage AMD. These vitamins and supplements include:

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 80 mg of zinc oxide
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 15 mg of beta-carotene
  • 2 mg of copper (cupric oxide)

If your loved one regularly smokes, his or her doctor may encourage substituting a combination of 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin instead of taking beta-carotene.

Anti-Angiogenic Injections

In the advanced stages of AMD, high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor secreted into the eye cause the formation of new blood vessels that lead to vision loss. Anti-angiogenic drugs, which are injected directly into the eye after the surface has been numbed, stop these new blood vessels from forming and can sometimes restore lost vision.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care service. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 832-412-1345