Macula Degeneration Tips

If you’ve been diagnosed with AMD, making a few simple lifestyle changes could have a positive impact on the health of your retina.

  • Monitor your vision daily with an Amsler grid. By checking your vision regularly, changes that may require treatment can be detected early.
  • Take a multi-vitamin with zinc. (Check with your eye physician for a recommendation). Antioxidants, along with zinc and lutein are essential nutrients, all found in the retina. It is believed that people with AMD may be deficient in these nutrients.
  • Incorporate dark leafy green vegetables into your diet. These include spinach, collard greens, kale and turnip greens.
  • Always protect your eyes with sunglasses that have UV protection. Ultraviolet rays are believed to cause damage to the pigment cells in the retina.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs the body’s circulation, decreasing the efficiency of the retinal blood vessels.
  • Exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercise improves the body’s overall health and increases the efficiency of the circulatory system.

These are a few tips to make reading easier:

  • Use a halogen light. These have fewer glares and disperse the light better than standard light bulbs.
  • Shine the light directly on your reading material. This improves the contrast and makes the print easier to see.
  • Use a hand-held magnifier. A drugstore magnifier can increase the print size dramatically.
  • Try large-print or audio books. Most libraries and bookstores have special sections reserved for these books.
  • Consult a low vision specialist. These professionals are specially trained to help visually impaired patients improve their quality of life. After a personalized consultation, they can recommend appropriate magnifiers, reading aids, practical tips, and many resources.

Amsler Grid

  • Use a bright reading light
  • Wear your reading glasses if appropriate
  • Hold the chart approximately 14-16 inches from your eye
  • Cover one eye
  • Look at center dot
  • Note irregularities (wavy, size, gray, fuzzy)
  • Repeat the test with your other eye
  • Contact ophthalmologist if you see any irregularities or notice any changes