by Scholten A

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Macular Degeneration

If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you can make some changes that will help you manage your environment with low vision.
You can make your home a safer place by taking these steps:
  • Brighten your space with overhead and under-cabinet lighting. Experiment with different types of bulbs to see which work best for you.
  • Reduce glare with curtains and blinds.
  • Keep an open flow to rooms by rearranging furniture that may hinder movement.
  • Use contrasting colors in the bathroom so it is easier to see large items, such as the bathtub, toilet, or sink.
  • If you have area rugs, make sure they are taped or tacked down.
  • In stairwells use bright lights and identify the top and bottom steps with different colors.
  • Install handrails in bathrooms and in stairwells.
Daily life with macular degeneration may be difficult. Follow these suggestions to help make your daily tasks easier:
  • When you are reading or using a computer, use large text options or extra spacing between letters when you can. If you still have difficulty, use audio books when possible. More ideas for using a computer can be found at the Macular degeneration Partnership.
  • Organize your household items and keep them in the same place so they are easier to find.
  • Try using large stickers on your stove or thermostat so they are easier to use and navigate.
  • Use magnifiers or telescopes.
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:
  • Plan your driving for daylight hours. Avoid driving at dawn and dusk, or after dark.
  • Monitor weather and traffic conditions.
  • Ask your family or friends for help when you need it.
  • Consider taking a driver's education course to improve driving skills.
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.
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.
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.

References

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.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114486/Age-related-macular-degeneration-AMD. Updated May 27, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Home & personal safety. Bright Focus Foundation website. Available at: http://www.brightfocus.org/macular/home-safety. Updated April 26, 2013. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Living with AMD. Macular Degeneration Partnership website. Available at: http://www.amd.org/living-with-amd. 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.
4/7/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114486/Age-related-macular-degeneration-AMD: US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for impaired visual acuity in older adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(1):37-43.
3/11/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114486/Age-related-macular-degeneration-AMD: 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.

Revision Information

Health Library Search

Only show results from the selected categories.











During this exam, an eye doctor examines the interior of the eyes through a special lens. The doctor checks for any damaged blood vessels in the retina inside the eye....

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a rare eye condition. It occurs in infants who are premature or have low birthweight. ROP causes a problem in the retina, the tissue t...

In a bypass, artificial tubes (grafts) are placed near a section of the blood vessel that is blocked or narrowed. The graft creates a path so that blood can move around t...

The retina is the tissue that lines the back of the eye. It sends visual signals to the brain. The macula is part of the retina. It is responsible for central vision. Mac...

Retinopathy is damage to the thin layer of tissue in the back of the eye called the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels in the retina caused by Ty...

18 Natural Ways to Prevent Macular Degeneration lifestyle - alternative health

Adult macular degeneration is a serious problem that can result in vision loss. Both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the cause of this disease. Although ...

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited eye diseases that often leads to severe visual problems. The retina is a layer of light-sensitive tissue that lines the ...

20 Glaucoma Surgery procedure

Glaucoma surgery is surgery to lower pressure inside the eye....