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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Besides increasing age, what are some of the risk factors associated with macular degeneration?

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  • 1

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    Simon has over 30 years experience in Optometry and Optical Dispensing and is the owner of North Lakes Optometry, an Ethical, Independent Optometry Practice providing ... View Profile

    Family History
    Lack of variety in the diet
    Lack of exercise
    SMOKING

  • 6

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    Rowan has over ten years experience as an optometrist and since graduation from Melbourne University has worked throughout Australia and in the UK, in all ... View Profile

    Other risk factors for macular degeneration include:

    Sun exposure:  UV light exposure damages the retina directly and can lead to accummulation of harm to the retina

    Obesity and Blood Pressure: Individuals with BMI>30 are more likely to develop macular degeneration.  Hypertension is also thought to increase the risk.

    Gender:  Females are more likely to be affected than males.  This may be due to their longer life expectancy.

    Race:  Caucasians are more likely to develop macular degeneration than other races.  This may be due to eye pigmentation differences or genetic background.

    Existing AMD:  The presence of macular degeneration in one eye increases the risk for the fellow eye.

  • 3

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    The Macular Disease Foundation Australia is committed to reducing the incidence and impact of macular disease in Australia through education and awareness programs, research, provision ... View Profile

    Risk factors for macular degeneration include:

    Age
    Macular degeneration is primarily age related, with one in seven Australians over age 50 showing some evidence of the disease.

    Family history
    People with a direct family history of macular degeneration have a 50 percent chance of developing the disease.

    Smoking
    Smokers and people who have smoked are three to four times more likely to develop macular degeneration. Smokers also develop the disease, on average, 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

    Diet
    There is strong evidence that eating the right foods plays a significant role in reducing the risk of getting macular degeneration, and can help to slow down its progression. 

    Everyone aged over 50 should have an eye test and make sure the macula is checked. By having an eye test, macular degeneration can be detected in its early stages before any visual symptoms appear. Early detection is critical to saving sight.

    For more information, guidance, support and understanding contact the Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or www.mdfoundation.com.au

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