Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in Americans aged 65 years or older. By 2050, the number of Americans suffering from the condition are predicted to increase from 48 million to 88 million. Age is a major risk factor for the condition. The condition is likely to occur in people post the age of 60, but it could also occur earlier depending on your lifestyle. We look at the various controllable and non-controllable risk factors of this disorder.
Family history or genetics play a significant role in developing the condition. Studies suggest there are 20+ genetic factors that are associated with the risk of developing it.
Caucasians or white people are more likely to develop this disorder as opposed African-Americans and Hispanics. However, this doesn’t mean it cannot affect people from other ethnicities.
Women are more likely to develop the condition than men. A study in 2010 reveals 65% of cases were observed in women as compared to 35% cases in men.
Early AMD increases your chances of late AMD, which can lead to vision loss. People with early AMD in both eyes have a 14% chance of developing late AMD in at least one eye after 10 years.
People who smoke are at twice the risk of developing the condition than non-smokers. It is considered as the single-most important modifiable risk factor in developing the condition.
Poor exercise habits contribute to an overall unhealthy lifestyle and increased chances of the disorder as well. A 2009 study co-relates the decreased risk of developing the condition with increased physical activity.
A diet that is high in processed and packaged foods is an obvious risk factor for developing this disorder. Always try and keep your food palate tilted more towards farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Dietary supplements can also help in slowing down the condition.
Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also contribute to this eye disorder. Keep them within normal ranges at all times to prevent the risk of AMD.