What are the risks? – Age-related Macular Degeneration


Accessed 28 June 2018. https://www.verywellhealth.com/macular-degeneration-causes-risk-factors-3421731

Risk factors:

  1. Age – risk increases exponentially with age (1)
  2. Family history – genetic factors in 70% of cases. You are twice as likely to develeop AMD if a first degree relative has the disease. (2)
  3. Smoking – Not only are you 3 to 4 times more likely to develop AMD, it can occur a lot early than in non-smokers too. The progression of the condition increases if smoking continues. (1,3,4)
  4. UV light exposure – people with lighter coloured eyes appear to be affected greater than people with darker coloured eyes. Those who spent a large amount of their working life outdoors are affected more than those who were indoors. Maximum UV radiation penetrates the eye in young children.(5) Hence I protect my children and myself with Beamers Sunglasses, with Optoshield technology designed by ophthalmologists.
  5. Diet – Unhealthy diet and lifestyle can lead to heart disease and hypertension. These contribute to the blood flow in the retina and can lead to macular degeneration.

How can you prevent AMD:

  • Regular eye checks
  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Eating fish two to three times a week, dark green leafy vegetables, fruit and nuts daily.
  • Choosing low glycemic index carbohydrates
  • Limiting the intake of fats
  • Consideration can be given to an appropriate supplement
  • Wearing sunglasses with maximum UV protection, like Beamers Sunglasses


  1. Eyes on the future – A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration‘. Report by Deloitte Access Economics & Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2011.
  2. Klaver C et al.  Genetic risk of age-related maculopathy. Population-based familial aggregation study. Arch Ophthalmol 1998;116:1646-1651.
  3. Mitchell P et al. Five-year incidence of age-related maculopathy lesions: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 2001;109:1092-1097.
  4. Tan Jet al. Smoking and the long -term incidence of age-related macular degeneration: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Arch Ophthalmol 2007;125:1089-1095.
  5. Schick T et al. History of Sunlight Exposure is a Risk Factor for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Retina 2016;36(4):787-90.