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Dear MIRIAM: WILL DAD GO BLIND?

Byline: Dr MIRIAM STOPPARD

Dear Miriam AFTER his regular eye check, the optician told my dad he has the beginnings of macular degeneration.

I've read it's the commonest cause of blindness. He spends lots of time reading and watching TV. How likely is it he'll lose his sight?

I THINK I can reassure you, even though macular degeneration is the most common cause of loss of sight in the over-60s.

It's so common that most people over 70 show some early signs of dry macular degeneration of the retina - the back of the eye that's sensitive to light and images.

An ophthalmologist would probably say it's likely he'll continue to enjoy his reading and TV, provided there's no significant loss of sight associated with your dad's early signs of macular degeneration.

However, I'd suggest he has regular monitoring. If he smokes, he should give up, and also control his cholesterol levels by eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables such as peppers, broccoli and sweetcorn as well as omega-3 enriched eggs. The US National Eye Institute found supplements of vitamin A, C and E, zinc, copper and lutein could be helpful but he should check with his doctor first.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2007
Words:200
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