New Research Suggests Alcohol May Not Be Safe for People with Age-related Macular Degeneration
Even though Dry January is over, new research suggests you may want to consider keeping the no-alcohol challenge going all year. A recent study published in Current Eye Research evaluated seven studies looking at the relationship between alcohol consumption and AMD. The researchers found that moderate to high alcohol consumption was linked to a higher incidence of early AMD, compared with people who didn’t drink or who drank occasionally.
AMD is the most common cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 50, affecting about 2.1 million people nationwide. It is a degenerative disease that damages the macula, responsible for central vision. Over time, this loss can interfere with everyday activities, like driving, reading, and seeing faces clearly. Genetics aside, there are several lifestyle choices you can make to preserve your vision, including:
- Healthy eating. It’s true that carrots are good for the eyes – and leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and fatty fish.
- Manage your body weight and overall health. Hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all risk factors for AMD.
- Don’t smoke. It increases your AMD risk.
- Get your eyes dilated by an ophthalmologist.
For more information about eye health, visit the Academy’s EyeSmart website.