(NAPSI)—If you are like the majority of Americans, heart disease and eye disease run in your family. So you should know that a growing body of research suggests that eye and heart health are related. The latest study suggests that people with a specific form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are at significant risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
AMD is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in people over 65 years old. There are two types of AMD. The type called dry AMD happens when the central area of the retina called the macula becomes damaged from the formation of small yellow cholesterol deposits under the retina. These deposits deprive the retina of blood and oxygen, leading to vision loss. The type of deposits the researchers believe is linked to heart disease are called subretinal drusenoid deposits.
The new study adds to the list of several health conditions an eye exam may help detect.
The Eye as a Window into Heart Health
Blood vessels and nerves in the eyes are reflective of the rest of the body. That’s why medical conditions such as stroke, heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes are sometimes first diagnosed by an ophthalmologist during a routine eye exam.
Here’s what ophthalmologists want you to know about protecting both your eye and heart health:
1. Eat well. A heart-healthy diet full of leafy greens and colorful fruits is also good for the eyes. Studies show foods rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids can lower the risk of certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration, cataracts, and dry eye.
2. Exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day. For eye health, the science shows regular exercise can protect your vision and, if you already have an eye disease, it can help you manage it better……..
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Source: LI Hearld