New research shows that you may have to deal with the no-alcohol challenge, especially if you are in a group of people who have age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. According to a recent study published in Current Eye Research, moderate to high alcohol consumption was linked to a higher incidence of early Age-related macular degeneration, compared with people who didn’t drink or who drank occasionally.
“We already knew that lifestyle choices can help prevent AMD,” said Dianna Seldomridge, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Now we also know that alcohol consumption may be another modifiable risk factor we can control to lower the risk of developing this potentially blinding eye disease.” AMD is the most common cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 50, affecting about 2.1 million people. As the population ages, the estimated number of people with AMD is expected to more than double to 5.44 million by 2050.
Although genetics play a role, there are several lifestyle choices you can make to reduce your chances of losing sight to AMD, including: (1) healthy eating, (2) managing your weight and overall health, (3) not smoking and (4) having your ophthalmologist widen your eyes. During a routine еye exam, an ophthalmologist will be able to spot eye diseases early — sometimes before you notice any symptoms — and get you the best care to protect your vision.