28 Home Remedies for Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a type of eye disease that slowly makes the patient lose their vision. The disease ruins the eyes by damaging the retina, which is inside the eyes. This makes it difficult for people to focus on images, which could make it impossible to read or even see colors, as time goes on. While there is currently no known cure for macular degeneration, home remedies may be able to help slow the progression of the disease or even prevent it entirely.
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are three main types of macular degeneration. The first, and most common, type of macular degeneration is called atrophic macular degeneration, better known as “dry” macular degeneration. This type of macular degeneration causes blurry central vision, which means that it will be more difficult for you to see things in front of you, rather than from the side. It may also be difficult to recognize people’s faces, read, see in dim light, and things seeming bent when they are not.
The second most common type is exudative or “wet” macular degeneration. This type of macular degeneration also reduces central vision, makes straight things seem bent, and generally makes things blurrier. However, it also reduces the way you will see colors; they may seem more muted. It should not make it harder to see in the dark, though.
One of the least common types of macular degeneration is called Stargardt’s disease. This type of macular degeneration is only found in children and teenagers, as it is caused by a recessive gene. This type of macular degeneration is not preventable since it is genetic.
While doctors are not entirely sure what causes macular degeneration, they have a few guesses. Macular degeneration is most common among older people, like baby boomers. People who are senior citizens (older than 55) are most likely to be afflicted with macular degeneration.
Caucasians are most likely to have macular degeneration, as the disease can be hereditary. If someone in your family has macular degeneration, then there is a higher chance that you will get it. However, this does not mean that you are sure to get it.
People who are in the sun often, damage their eyes, or smoke are also more likely to have macular degeneration than people who do not have these same actions.
People who have high blood pressure or high blood sugar are also more likely to suffer from macular degeneration.
Women are also more likely than men to get macular degeneration.
The most common symptoms of macular degeneration are vision loss and changes to the retina. While only an eye doctor is likely to see a change in the retina, the average person is likely to notice a change in their vision. Black spots or a general blurriness are some of the most noticeable signs of vision loss.
Home Remedies and Preventative Measures for Macular Degeneration Symptoms
Only an eye doctor can properly diagnose macular degeneration. If you have already been diagnosed, then the home remedies below can help to slow to the progression of the disease. If you have not been diagnosed, then these home remedies may be able to prevent macular degeneration.
Since spending too much time staring at the sun can damage the eyes, it is best to wear sunglasses to prevent and slow the symptoms of macular degeneration. This home remedy is simple enough, just wear sunglasses when you go out on a sunny day!
Protecting your eyes is of utmost importance; this is true whether or not you already have macular degeneration. If you work with heavy machinery, chemicals, or small objects that could make their way into your eyes, make sure to wear goggles.
It is also a good idea to wear goggles if you plan on swimming underwater. This can prevent small particles from entering your eyes. This is a good thing to practice whether you are going to the beach or the pool.
People who smoke have almost double the chances of getting macular degeneration compared to someone who does not smoke. Smoking is generally terrible for your body, so it is best to quit smoking and avoid people who smoke if you want to keep your eyesight in the best condition possible.
Drinking green tea helps to protect your body from dangerous free radicals, which can cause numerous problems in your body–from a simple cold to cancer. To use this home remedy to protect your eyesight, simply drink one to four cups of green tea every day.
Grape seeds are beneficial in improving and maintaining eye health. This is because of the many antioxidants they have. Like green tea, they also work to fight off free radicals. To use this home remedy, you can use it for cooking, instead of using vegetable oil or butter. This shouldn’t change the taste of your food much, but it will help to improve your eyes.
Less Screen Time
Staring at a screen all day can damage your eyes. It can cause everything from general eye strain to eye redness and itchiness, and it may be a contributing factor to macular degeneration. It is best to take a break from the computer or your phone after using it for an hour. Take up to a ten-minute break to rest your eyes after every hour.
Also, it is best to avoid using a screen two hours prior to going to bed. Not only will this be healthy for your eyes, but it will also help to treat insomnia and other conditions which can cause restlessness.
Moringa leaves are great for treating any type of poor eyesight, as they contain high amounts of vitamin E and C. Both of these vitamins work to improve eyesight. This leaf often comes in tea form or in capsules. When using either of these, make sure to use them as directed on the packaging.
Alcohol in Moderation
While a little bit of alcohol isn’t likely to hurt your eyes, drinking a lot of it can. If possible, quit drinking alcohol completely to improve your eyesight. However, if you do not want to quit drinking alcohol, then simply drink less of it to slow the progression of your macular degeneration.
One alcohol you can have to improve your eyesight is red wine. As mentioned above, make sure you drink in moderation. If you decide that drinking red wine is right for you, drink no more than ten ounces of wine a day. This can help to lower bad cholesterol levels, which work to raise blood pressure.
Exercising regularly can help to lower high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of macular degeneration. Try to exercise for at least half an hour a day, five days a week. If you can handle it, try to exercise even more than that. The exercises don’t need to be complicated; you can do something as simple as walking the dog, swimming, or playing catch with your friends.
Drinks with caffeine in them cause inflammation, which is anything but good news. Because of this, it is best to avoid soda, coffee, and caffeinated teas. Try to avoid these beverages entirely, if you can.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Caffeinated sodas aren’t the only sugary drinks you should avoid if you want to keep your eyes healthy. Also, make sure to avoid all soda in general and juices that have added sugars. Check the juice content of the juice you are buying. Some “juices” actually contain less than 10 percent real juice! When possible, buy juices that are made with 100 percent juice with no added sugars.
Avoid Heavily Processed Foods
Fast foods, junk foods, and other heavily processed foods can also cause inflammation, which is best to avoid for your health in general, especially if you have macular degeneration. Avoid buying pre-cooked foods, like TV dinners, frozen foods, and processed meats (lunch meats, hot dogs, and sausage). Instead, make more of your food at home.
Taking fish oil supplements or eating certain types of fish, like salmon and anchovies, can help to increase the good type of cholesterol, which in turn makes sure that there is less bad cholesterol in your body. Either eat fish three to four times a week or take fish oil supplements as directed to get the most out of this home remedy.
Nuts and Seeds
Many types of nuts and seeds contain high levels of omega-3s, which is also one of the main components of fish oil. Like fish oil, they help to keep cholesterol levels in balance. They also contain high levels of vitamin E, which is also great for eye health. Some nuts to include in your diet are walnuts, cashews, and almonds. Some seeds to try are sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Nearly everyone has been told at one point or another that carrots are good for their eyes, so it’s best that we include it in this article. Carrots help the eyes because they have high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which are both vital for retina health. Add more carrots to your diet to benefit from this home remedy.
Eggs are not only protein-rich, but they are also rich in vitamin C and E. Eating eggs often can both help to prevent macular degeneration and vision problems. Add more eggs to your diet see results.
Speaking of vitamin C being great for the eyes, citrus fruits have amazing amounts of vitamin C in them. Adding these fruits to your diet is sure to have a positive impact. Some tasty citrus fruits you may way to add into your diet include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.
If you do not want to eat these fruits, then you can instead drink fruit juices made out of any of these juices. As long as the juice is 100 percent juice, it is sure to have the same effect.
Another fruit that can help to improve eyesight is the pineapple. While it is not one of the main citrus fruits, it still has high amounts of vitamin C. Eating pineapple on its own, adding it to fruit salads, or drinking pineapple juice are all great ways of consuming this fruit to benefit from its health benefits.
Dark Leafy Greens
Fruits aren’t the only thing that can help eyesight, veggies can be of great importance, too! Leafy green vegetables contain vitamin C, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are all healthy for the eyes. Some dark leafy greens you will want to include in your diet to prevent macular degeneration include spinach and kale.
Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable that has much in common with carrots, including having a high level of vitamin E. They also contain antioxidants and beta-carotene, which is great news for anyone suffering from a vision problem. Simply adding more sweet potatoes (including sweet potato fries) into your diet is a great way to improve your eyesight.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is important for your health, that includes your eye health. When you stay hydrated, you lower the chance of having dry eyes. The more often you have dry eyes, the more likely you are to have other eye problems, like macular degeneration. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to be fully hydrated.
There are several types of meat that contain high levels of zinc. Zinc is great for the eyes; it can both prevent eye problems, like macular degeneration, from occurring and help to slow the progression of poor eyesight. Some meats to include in your diet are beef, pork, and chicken.
Eating whole grains can help to lower high blood sugar levels, which can contribute to developing macular degeneration. Many whole grain foods also have vitamin E and zinc, which is great for eye health. Some great whole grain foods to add to your diet include oats, whole-wheat, and brown rice.
Like the other fruits listed in this article, berries are rich in vitamin C. They are also loaded with antioxidants, which can help to fight free radicals; damage due to free radicals can sometimes be a cause of macular degeneration. Try adding blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and more into your diet to improve your eyesight.
While many people may think a tomato is a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. Like the citrus fruits on this list, tomatoes are also full of vitamin C. Add tomatoes to salads and sandwiches, eat tomato soup, or drink tomato juice to get valuable vitamins from this food.
Unlike many other types of peppers, bell peppers are not spicy. They come in several different colors, on a spectrum from green to red. All of these different colors have slightly different flavors, but they all contain high amounts of vitamin C. Adding any kind of bell pepper to your diet is sure to benefit your eye health.
Not just the seeds in the pumpkin are healthy for your eyesight. The “meat” of the pumpkin is also great, as it contains vitamin A and C. However, you shouldn’t just eat pumpkin pie to use this healthy ingredient. Instead, try pumpkin soup to add this food to your diet.
Melons, like cantaloupe and honeydew, also have healthy levels of vitamin A and C. As a bonus, they are tasty! However, they are a seasonal fruit, Eat these fruits in the summer when they are available. Eat them by themselves or add them to fruit salads to improve your eyesight.
Which of these home remedies will you implement to improve your eye health? Comment below!