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More than 10 million seniors experience macular degeneration, a disease that causes the central portion of the retina to deteriorate. However, with a few simple lifestyle changes, your elderly loved one can decrease the risk of macular degeneration or slow its progression if he or she has already been diagnosed. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Birmingham families trust, has put together a list of 4 tips to help your loved one achieve this.
Smoking can increase your loved one’s risk of macular degeneration by 2 to 5 times. If he or she has a family history of the illness and also smokes, his or her risk increases by 200 percent. Tobacco interferes with the absorption of the antioxidant called lutein, which protects the retina. Additionally, smoking negatively impacts the circulatory system, which has also been found to contribute to the disease.
The eye has a multitude of blood vessels, making it the place in the body with the highest blood exchange. High blood pressure can harm these tiny vessels and cause damage to the retina. Make sure your loved one’s blood pressure is under control. If it is too high, talk with his or her doctor about ways to lower it.
A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can provide your loved one with antioxidants that can prevent macular degeneration. Eating 5 to 9 servings a day of produce rich in color such as kale, red grapes, peppers, cantaloupes, oranges, and mangoes, can protect your loved one’s eyes. The caregivers Birmingham agencies employ can assist your loved one with grocery shopping to select healthy foods and even help prepare the meals.
Both blue and ultraviolet light can damage the retina and cause macular degeneration. Your loved one should wear a hat or visor anytime he or she is outdoors, even on overcast days. Sunglasses that screen 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet A and B rays and blue light should also be worn for the most protection. If your loved one has already been diagnosed with the disease, consider sunglasses with side panels to ensure all light is filtered by the protection.
Eye health is just one aspect of overall health and wellbeing, in addition to exercise, engaging with others, and eating well. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We train our caregivers to help seniors with a wide variety of individual needs. For instance, if your loved one needs stroke care in Birmingham, our caregivers are available 24/7 to assist him or her with mobility, medication reminders, and much more while he or she recovers. For more information, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 248.283.0835 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.