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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Macular Degeneration
by Amy Scholten, MPH
If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you can make some changes that will help you manage your environment with low vision.
Make Your Home Safer
You can make your home a safer place by taking these steps:
Suggestions for Daily Living
Daily life with macular degeneration may be difficult. Follow these suggestions to help make your daily tasks easier:
For most people, driving defines their independence. If your low vision is causing problems when you drive, you may have to make some adjustments. It doesn't mean you have to turn in your keys permanently. Take these steps:
Telescopic lenses are mounted inside the lenses in your glasses. They work by magnifying, much like a telescope or binoculars. With magnification, tasks such as needlework, movie watching, or other daily tasks may be more manageable. In some states, telescopic lenses are legal for driving. If you are unsure, contact your state motor vehicle department.
Talk with Your Doctor
If you are having difficulty adjusting to life with low vision, call your eye doctor. You may be referred to a low vision specialist who can help you make the changes you need to manage your life with macular degeneration.
If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, the following lifestyle changes may help keep your eyes healthy. In some cases, these changes may even slow the progression of macular degeneration. Ask your doctor which lifestyle changes may be appropriate for you.
Consider Vitamin and Zinc Supplements
Antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the risk of vision loss caused by certain forms of adult macular degeneration. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Smoking can be harmful to the eye just as it is to the rest of the body. If you smoke, talk with your doctor about how you can quit.
Age-related eye disease research study group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(10):1417-1436.
Age-related eye disease study 2 research group. Lutein + zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids for age-related macular degeneration: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005-2015.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 27, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Home & personal safety. Bright Focus Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 26, 2013. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Living with AMD. Macular Degeneration Partnership website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 28, 2016.
SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY, Clemons TE, et al. The relationship of dietary lipid intake and age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No 20. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125A(5):671-679.
3/11/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: http://www.dynamed...: Christen WG, Glynn RJ, Sesso HD, et al. Vitamins E and C and medical record-confirmed age-related macular degeneration in a randomized trial of male physicians. Ophthalmology. 2012;119(8):1642-1649.
Last reviewed November 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2015
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