Life style and AMD

I am 72 tears young. I was diagnosed with early stage dry almost 3 years ago, and his was after four optometrists/opticians had failed to spot the problem. I had known for over 3 years that something had been wrong, but each time I tried a different practitioner they would just prescribe new glasses!

However, I have been having regular scans and my eyes have been "stable" for over 2 years. I think that this is due to:- eating a good balanced diet, (my wife keeps me well supplied with blueberries as well as plenty of fresh vegetables), taking a well known supplement every day, and taking regular (but not excessive) exercise - I ride my bike with two of my friends, and we normally do about 25 miles or so once per week.

I know that I am very fortunate, but feel that some of the above may have contributed and wanted to let others know as it may help them.

8 Replies

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  • I am so pleased that your dry AMD is stable and hope it continues to be so. I think the whole thing is just that bit easier to bear if you know you are doing everything in your power to help yourself by following a healthy diet and lifestyle, plus there are many other added benefits to our health and the way we feel that have nothing whatsoever to do with our eyesight. It is wonderful that your lovely wife is so supportive.

    Unfortunately, some things are quite out of our control and, despite the nutritional supplements, eating a mountain of fruit and veg and regular exercise (which I have done for many, many years) , eyesight can change quite dramatically for no apparent reason almost overnight. I would stress that, if there are any changes, it is vital to seek help straight away so that treatment can be started promptly.

    Long may your good health continue x

  • That you were diagnosed three years ago gives me some reassurance. I was diagnosed in June but given no idea when my eyes would really deteriorate, just told it could be months or years, there is no way of knowing. I check the Amsler grid regularly and check car numbers at 20 metres plus almost daily.

    I've been vegetarian for over 25 years, having discussed supplements with my GP he didn't advise me either way but suggested as I had a good intake of fruit and vegetables I probably didn't need them but take them if I wanted. It was me who brought the subject up saying I wasn't keen on the supplement mumbo jumbo. I take enough tablets for other conditions. As for exercise I do quite a lot of walking, mainly whilst taking part in wildlife surveys. The usual other things like not parking close to shops, using stairs not lifts and general gardening, for instance I've been cutting logs with a chainsaw for a couple of hours, carrying the logs and stacking them this morning, it's all exercise.

    For lunch I had a couple of slices of Melon, a Kiwi Fruit and a plum. Tonight it's home made vegetarian risotto.

  • If it gives you any consolation, I have had a macular dystrophy in both eyes, but one much worse than the other, since early childhood. Of course, at that age, ignorance is bliss so I have never worried about having only one good eye for as long as I can remember. It has been very like dry AMD for all of my life; getting very, very gradually worse over the years. I have made it to 57 before wet AMD/myopic CNV reared their ugly heads and there was a sudden deterioration in the vision of my good eye. Fortunately Lucentis injections have helped tremendously.

    My "stable" stage lasted for around 50 years so I certainly wouldn't worry too much; your lifestyle sounds fantastic, as does that veg risotto! Good luck x

  • My use of supplements came as a result of my research into AMD, and I was encouraged when I learnt of the results of the AREDS research. I was really shocked at the diagnosis and got great encouragement from the Macular Society helpline so I immediately joined. Maybe I was a little naive but at that stage I was desperate to find if there was anything that I could do, having been told by my optician and my Consultant that "there is, at present, no treatment for Dry AMD".

    I cannot be sure that supplements have been of any help, but I do not know how I would be now, if I had not been taking them. My purpose in writing on this forum was just to let others know what may have contributed to the lack of deterioration in my eyesight since Feb 2014.

    I am not a gambling man, and will continue to eat sensibly, take exercise and my daily dose of blueberries and my capsule. I wish you well and hope that you too will find that your life style will be of great benefit to your sight.

  • Hi Richard 44.

    I have to take quite a few pills daily for other health reasons, some of these cause stomach upsets so am not very keen on further pills. I was recommended a fruit and vegetable diet but was already a vegetarian, so that was no problem. Since AMD I have modified this a bit but not much to include food higher in Lutein. I don't drink or smoke either.

    In fact at 58 after chest pains that I had had all my life were getting worse I went to the doctor who whisked me to hospital to the CCU where they discovered I had "a very unusual heart" and they wondered how I had survived so long and were not sure how to proceed. Anyway they did say if it wasn't for my lifestyle and vegetarianism, "you wouldn't be alive now".

    My work as a countryside ranger kept me active but also required me to have several medical examinations over the years including ironically quite a rigorous heart check on a static cycle and treadmill. apparently my heart was perfect!

  • It does thank you. I'm not as worried about it as much I was a couple of months ago, this site has helped a lot.

    Most of our food consists of bunging, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes in as a base, cooked in olive oil, then adding maybe other things like mushrooms, cashews, sultanas, squash, herbs and spices, depending on what we are cooking, We serve with either lentils or rice in most cases. We cook all our own meals, including pizzas. I chop and peel whilst Pat (my wife) does the technical bit on the cooker.

    Pat is on a non salt diet because of her kidneys and me because of BP, so we don't eat out and she particularly thinks a lot of restaurant food is not as good as she cooks, I agree.

  • Hi Jim, your diet sounds impressive! The only thing I'd offer is that the natural compounds that have been scientifically proven(on the BBC Trust me I'm a doctor show recently) to aid the Macular are found i believe mostly in leafy green veg -curly kale etc. Food supplements such as macushield have these at the best levels in an easy dose, it was interesting in the show to see the improvement they made to macular health and I now take them instead of the bags of c kale I was having each week as easier and also I know the dose is correct.

  • I'm still not keen on supplements and I'm afraid do not have must trust in the honesty of the BBC. Eat Romaine Lettuce, Sweetheart cabbage, Butternut, Squash, Sweet Peppers. Tomatoes, Melon, Onions, Sweet Potatoes, etc. etc. and many fruits. All of them fresh either cooked or uncooked.

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