Fight Macular Degeneration With Nutritional Supplements

Can nutritional supplements reduce the risk of AMD?

AMD, which stands for age-related macular degeneration, is the leading cause of vision loss in those over 50. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) nearly 2 million people currently suffer from AMD and more than three times that many are at significant risk. Plus, it only gets worse with age. For those in the over-60 bracket, the vision loss can become severe and irreversible.

We know that AMD occurs when there is damage to a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula. This is the part of the eye that looks straight ahead and is needed for sharp, central vision. Macular degeneration progresses slowly, and, while it does not result in total blindness, it can create significant disability. Without the ability to see what is directly in front of you, it becomes nearly impossible to do simple everyday tasks, like read, write, drive, cook or recognize someone standing in front of you.

There is no clear consensus on what causes macular degeneration, but age certainly plays a large role. Other possible contributing factors include:

AMD can be detected in a routine eye exam. Your eye care professional will be able to observe the early signs of macular degeneration which will be the presence of pigment clumping or tiny yellow deposits under the retina. Early detection is crucial, because, while there is no cure, there are treatments that can slow or reduce the severity of the vision loss.

The very promising study conducted by The National Eye Institute, “The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)” was a clinical trial sponsored by The National Institute of Health that found that about one-fifth of patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration enjoyed a decreased risk of vision loss after taking high levels of zinc and antioxidants. Other studies have shown similar benefits from a wide range of nutritional supplements, including, beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, copper, manganese and lutein.

What is most important is to include these supplements in your diet before macular degeneration starts. While you will, of course, want to develop a regimen of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants at the first sign of AMD, effort on your part to be proactive can push that diagnosis on into the, hopefully, far distant future.

If you have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration or are having any vision related issues, Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts is ready to provide high-quality, comprehensive care in our three convenient Long Island office locations. For more information about how we can help with AMD or any other type of eye care, or if you have other questions or comments, please call the office most convenient to you — Bellmore: 516.783.0300, Great Neck: 516.504.2020, Little Neck: 718.428.9393 or Huntington: 631.427.1690. If you would like to schedule an appointment, simply click here to go to our online scheduler.

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