Special Considerations for Those with Macular Degeneration


August 17, 2015


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Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment and blindness among individuals 60 years and older, with an estimated 15 million Americans currently showing signs of macular degeneration.  According to the National Institute of Health, more Americans are affected by AMD than cataracts and glaucoma combined.

What is ARMD?

ARMD is a degenerative disease of the macula, the central part of the retina, which provides the clearest vision needed in reading, driving, seeing fine detail, and recognizing facial features.  There are two 1forms of macular degeneration: atrophic (dry) and neovascular (wet), and both forms of the disease may affect both eyes simultaneously.  The disease is characterized by gradual vision loss; however, “wet” macular degeneration can result in blindness within weeks. Other symptoms include slow recovery of vision after being outside in the sunlight to going indoors, distortion of straight lines, and changes in color vision.

Risk Factors

As with all age-related diseases, the development and severity of macular degeneration are intensified by factors such as high blood sugar, oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular disease.  Additional risk factors might include nutritional deficiencies, family history of the disease, hypertension, sunlight exposure, and cataract surgery.  Individuals who smoke have more than double the risk, compared with those who have never smoked.

Nutritional Considerations

2There are special considerations for those with macular degeneration, and one of those is nutrition.  Dietary factors appear to play an important role in reducing the risk of onset or progression of the disease.  Some of these dietary factors include antioxidant supplements, high consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat intake, maintenance of ideal weight.

The expert culinary staff at Avanti Senior Living offers their residents a variety of quality, fresh, dietary options, in various settings, including the SAVOR bistro-style lounge and the TASTE Restaurant which offers indoor, alfresco, or private dining experiences.  All the food is prepared in the Avanti Green Kitchen, where chef-prepared gourmet meals are made to order.  In addition, Avanti’s Mind.Body.Strength program revitalizes its residents with a new sense of confidence that reopens abilities and tastes that may have faded.  The combination of Avanti Senior Living’s services and amenities gives your loved ones the comfort and necessities needed to make Avanti a forever home.