Take care of your eyes and live life!
The world population is getting older and chances are you are part of the demographic consider baby boomers and reaching your geriatric years. As the graying of America continues to escalate, age related diseases are becoming more prevalent for most of us.
Aches and pains are common the next day after working in the yard or playing touch football and just getting out of bed can become a chore.
As we get older, one of the most common things we begin to notice going first is our failing eyesight. What we used to be able to see and read is now difficult. Suddenly the small text on the back of food labels and magazine articles are fuzzy and out of focus and illegible without the $3.00 reading glasses.
What is ARMD?
The retina is the lens of the eye that receives light and images and transmits this information to the brain for processing. The macula is the area central to the retina that is tasked with detailing and color of the image being scanned by the optic nerve. The macula is used in taks like threading a needle, reading food labels and image recognition.
As we gray and wrinkle, age related diseases become more established and part of our daily lives and ARMD is no exception. This condition affects almost 2 millio0n people today and will steadily increase as the baby boomers reach age 55 and beyond. ARMD is the leader in causing legal blindness in adults above 55 years of age in the US alone.
There are basically 2 types of ARMD; wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration is the degradation of cells within the macula, causing eventual focus issues and blurred vision. Most individuals that contract ARMD are diagnosed with the Dry form and begin to have spots appearing on the macula, causing the eventual issues described above.
Wet Macular degeneration is determined by abnormal blood vessels that begin to grow beneath the retina. The vessels begin to leak blood causing scarring and eventual distortion that impairs the retina’s ability to collect visual data. Wet AMD can begin in one first and then impact the other and is more accelerated than the dry version. Wet AMD affects only about 15% of the individuals who suffer this condition.
What Might ARMD Look Like?
What Can you do?
A study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) concluded that antioxidants found in standard foods were possibly able to help reduce the possibility of contracting an age related eye diseases. In particular, lutein was found to be important in proper eye health and potential issues with a disease called age-related macular degeneration.
This condition is common in older populations and affects the retinal area and eventually blindness. Lutein is the element that establishes the deep green pigment in vegetables like spinach and kale. The darker the leaf of the particular vegetable, the more lutein is available within the vegetable itself. Coincidentally, lutein is also naturally resident in the macula; a part of the eye affected by this disease.
In summary, when choosing a leafy vegetable for your sandwich lettuce may not be the best choice as spinach can contain up to 20 times the amount of lutein per cup. Spinach is a common vegetable that can be found in almost any garden or grocery store and can help support a healthy lifestyle and provide great overall benefits to age –related illnesses like AMD.