Renowned Eye Surgeon, Dr. Stewart Shofner Shares Five Important Tips to Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month and Dr. Stewart Shofner joins industry leaders to help educate patients, raise awareness and prevent this devastating eye disease with five important tips.

Intermediate age related macular degeneration

Intermediate AMD - National Eye Institute of the NIH

Many people are not aware that they have AMD

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center in Nashville, TN and many other organizations draw attention to February as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month. Throughout the entire month of February, Shofner Vision Center will be supporting efforts to raise awareness about the leading cause of vision loss in those fifty years of age and older.

“Many people are not aware that they have AMD until they notice a decline in their vision or they are diagnosed during an eye examination,” says Dr. Shofner. AMD is the most common cause of blindness in those aged 60 years and older.

About AMD
Macular degeneration, often age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), is a medical condition that usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in "dry" and "wet" forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults. Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

AMD Symptoms
Eventually, macular degeneration will cause devastating central vision loss that cannot be corrected or reversed. Symptoms may include any of the following:

  •     Printed words become slightly blurry
  •     Require more light when reading
  •     Colors do not seem as bright
  •     Overall vision becomes hazy

Dr. Shofner shares five important tips to help prevent age-related macular degeneration:

1)    Diet. A healthy diet that includes minimal refined carbohydrates and low in cholesterol may decrease the risk of developing AMD. Incorporating fruits and nuts may also lower your risk of “wet” or advanced AMD according to a 2004 study at Harvard Medical School study. It’s also recommended to include dark, leafy green vegetables in your diet three times per week.

Take a high quality multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement approved by your doctor. A large scientific study found that people at risk for developing advanced stages of AMD lowered their risk by about 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene and zinc. Antioxidants Lutein, Astaxanthin, and Zeaxanthin have been proven to slow the progression of AMD over time. “We offer supplements at Shofner Vision Center specifically promoting healthy vision,” says Dr. Shofner.

2)    Sun. Protect eyes from harmful UV rays emitted from the sun. Wearing UVA/UVB protective sunglasses outdoors will help prevent damage. Also protect your eyes from blue light (High Energy Visible (HEV).

3)    Smoking. Smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to have macular degeneration, public health experts at the University of Manchester said in a British Medical Journal report. If you do smoke…quit.

4)    Hereditary. Those who have a family history of macular degeneration are considered high risk and should schedule regular eye examinations. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a dilated eye exam at least every two to three years if you're between 45 and 60 and every year after the age of 60.

5)    Exercise. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight reduces macular degeneration risk, according to a study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Keeping blood pressure under control is also key.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help prevent most common health issues, including reducing your risk of developing macular degeneration,” says Dr. Shofner. Regular eye exams can assist eye doctors in detecting AMD and monitor it so that patients can receive proper AMD treatment.

About Shofner Vision Center
Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, TN specializes in Cataract and LASIK Vision Correction Surgery and Eye Disease Diagnosis and Treatment. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone experiencing vision impairment should contact their local ophthalmologist or contact Shofner Vision Center for a complimentary "No Fear - No Pressure" exam to diagnose any eye disease or other vision issues.

"Most of our patients come from referrals. We give our patients their options and never pressure them to have surgery," says Dr. Shofner. Our vision center offers comprehensive eye exams, complimentary LASIK exams, Cataract and LASIK vision correction surgery, dry eye treatment, and eye disease diagnosis and treatment.

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Shofner Vision Center’s professional staff offers the best customer care to ensure every patient is given the best experience at Shofner Vision Center. We accept most insurance plans including Medicaid and Tri-Care Standard, and also offer the most affordable Custom 3D LASIK in middle Tennessee.

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Dr. Stewart Shofner

Mrs. Trish Whiteside
@ShofnerVision
since: 03/2010
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