Could eating eggs reduce the risk of AMD?

Changing your morning routine could reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration¬†(AMD), is the name given to a group of retinal eye diseases that cause progressive loss of central vision. Affecting one’s the ability to read, drive, recognise faces and perform activities that require detailed vision, Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness and severe vision loss in Australia, responsible for 50% of all cases of blindness.

A new released Australian study has sown that people who eat 2-4 eggs per week versus those who eat less than one egg per week had 49 per cent reduced risk of developing late AMD after 15 years.

While it is not possible to change your family history or age, it is possible to reduce the risk of macular degeneration or slow progression of this by making positive diet and lifestyle changes.

Westmead Institute for Medical Research examined data from more than 3,600 Australian adults over the age of 49 who were followed over a period of 15 years. For those adults whose age of onset of AMD was at the 5 or 10 year follow-up stag, eating 2-4 eggs per week was associated with 54 per cent and 65 per cent reduced risk of developing late stage AMD, respectively. Researchers say the beneficial impact of eggs comes from the yolks, which contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These are both important nutrients for macular health and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Further research is needed to validate the findings.  - =Macular Disease Foundation Australia


Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of Macular Degeneration; Dry and Wet. People can develop both types of the disease and can be found in both eyes.

Wet Macular Degeneration – Generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula

Dry Macular Degeneration – causes blurred or reduced central vision, due to thinning of the macula – more common out of the two

Prevention and Risk Factors
Risk Factors include:

– Age : 1/3 of adults over 75 are affected by AMD.

Smoking : Because the retina has a high rate of oxygen consumption, anything that affects oxygen delivery to the retina may affect vision. Smoking causes oxidative damage, which may contribute to the progression of AMD.

Family history of AMD – Prolonged Sun Exposure

Diet : People with diets that are elevated in fat, cholesterol and high glycemic index foods, and low in antioxidants and green leafy vegetables may be more likely to develop AMD.

Obesity and High Blood Pressure Tips for Preventing AMD:

Maintain a healthy weight and eat a nutritious diet that includes green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange fruit, fish and whole grains.

Don’t smoke.

Maintain normal blood pressure and control other medical conditions.

Exercise regularly.

– Wear sunglasses and hats when you are outdoors.

– Get regular eye exams, and consult your doctor if you notice vision changes.

Symptoms of AMD
Visual field defect: – As AMD progresses, the center of a person’s visual field may become smudged, distorted or lost. This defect causes problems with reading, driving, and recognizing faces.

Contrast sensitivity: – It becomes more difficult to see textures and subtle changes in the environment.

Poor tolerance for changing light levels: It may become difficult for your eyes to adjust when lightning in an environment changes.

Need for higher light levels: – You may find that you need brighter light levels for reading, cooking and performing day-to-day tasks.

Impaired depth perception: – An inability to properly judge distances can also make walking harder, potentially leading to missteps and falls.

Why you should see us
To help diagnose macular degeneration, one of our optometrists will perform a comprehensive eye exam. With our machines and equipment and our optometrists training, we are able to examine and determine if your are at risk or in the stage of AMD development.