The following measures may help you avoid macular degeneration:

  • Have routine eye exams. Ask your eye doctor how often you should undergo routine eye exams. A dilated eye exam can identify macular degeneration.
  • Manage your other diseases. For example, if you have cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, take your medication and follow your doctor's instructions for controlling the condition.
  • Stop smoking. Smokers are more likely to develop macular degeneration than are nonsmokers. Ask your doctor for help to stop smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. If you need to lose weight, reduce the number of calories you eat and increase the amount of exercise you get each day. Maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly.
  • Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Choose a healthy diet that's full of a variety of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. These foods contain antioxidant vitamins that may reduce your risk of developing dry macular degeneration. Eating kale, spinach, broccoli, peas and other vegetables, which have high levels of antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, may also reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Include fish in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, may reduce the risk of dry macular degeneration. Nuts, such as walnuts, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Nov. 20, 2012