Causes and risk factors for AMD

Unfortunately the exact causes of AMD are not yet known, but there are a number of risk factors which may increase your risk of developing the condition:


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AMD develops as people get older, and is most often seen in those who are over 60, but it can develop from your forties onwards.


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AMD is more common in women than men.


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White people and people of Chinese ethnicity are more likely to get AMD than other ethnic groups.


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A lack of exercise and high blood pressure may increase your risk of developing AMD.


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The risk of developing AMD is greatly increased by smoking.


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There are certain genes which seem to be linked to some people developing AMD, but not all AMD is thought to be genetic. If you have a family history of AMD, you may be at greater risk.


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A  poor diet high in saturated fats (found in foods like meat, butter and cheese) can increase your risk of AMD. 

A healthy balanced diet with plenty of leafy greens, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish can reduce your risk of developing AMD or slow the progression of the disease.

Cardiovascular disease

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Diseases that affect your heart and blood vessels may increase your risk of AMD.


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Some researchers believe that exposure to high levels of UV light in sunlight may increase your risk of developing AMD, but this has not yet been proven.

Although some of these risk factors are not yet proven, and the extent to which others increase your risk of developing AMD is not yet known, as a general rule, eating a balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding smoking, wearing UV protection sun glasses in bright sunlight, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure may all help to keep your eyes healthy.

Talk with your GP or eye healthcare professional about your risk for AMD, if you are concerned about your risk of developing AMD, and ask if you need regular checks or if other members of your family should have regular eye tests, too.