ORBITAL Partner from the Vision Clinic, Mr. David Kent, was recently featured in papers across the south east of Ireland as a Consultant Ophthalmologist at aut even hospital in kilkenny, Ireland.
In his piece, Kent describes not only the risk factors for developing macular degeneration, but also ways to maintain general eye health and relation of overall health to the function and maintenance of the eye.
“Macular degeneration is a chronic degenerative disease that affects the macula, the centre of the retina in the back of the eye”, states Kent. “Now, neurodegeneration is quite an imposing word, so I prefer to just think of AMD as a condition where the macula just gradually wears out after a lifetime of working normally.”
As ORBITAL seeks to focus on the patient perspective and understanding the roles of clinicians in our research, this sort of publication is critical to the project itself.
“ORBITAL researchers, first and foremost, must remember that this clinician perspective helps us get directly to patients. Pieces like David Kent’s recent publication help us reach the audience that needs this research most – folks suffering, or caring for folks suffering, from AMD. We rely on our partners in the field to help us ensure more patients are aware of treatments, preventative measures, and general eye health. This remains the framework for all of our researchers”, said ORBITAL Project Manager, Tess Ames.
“Gone are the days where we said it’s your genes and there is nothing to do but wait for your sight to go… there is so much we can do in terms of our lifestyle choices. The key to a long and healthy (emphasis on the healthy) life, with good vision, are healthy lifestyle choices,” says Kent.
Kent’s advice for anyone seeking to maintain eye health or to halt progression of AMD include:
- Nutrition – he says to avoid processed food, especially those containing sugar or man-made vegetable oils. “The two together can be devastating for your cellular health, just like smoking.”
- Stay active – not only is exercise free, says Kent, it “produces something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. Don’t remember the name, but do remember it’s like Miracle grow for your brain and retina.” He also encourages resistance training for everyone, no matter the age. Exercise outdoors as much as possible, as sunlight boosts vitamin D and can help regulate your circadian rhythm.
- Speaking of your circadian clock, get your sleep! Restorative sleep is critical for repairing tissues. Avoid bright lights before bed, including phones, tablets, and computers. “These lights trick our brain into thinking it is morning and this prevents the release of the hormone that brings on sleep, melatonin.”
- Finally, supplement your regime with vitamin supplements containing Vitamin C, D, and E, along with luteins, zinc and copper, and the omega 3 fatty acids. “These will not only benefit the cells of the macula, but also all cells of the body.”
Mr. Kent’s full article can be found, here.