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Macular Degeneration (AMD) & Nutrition

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Staying fit on a balanced diet doesn’t just help your overall health and feel better, but when you analyze your family’s health history, sticking to a diet that includes fruits and vegetables while avoiding sugars might be too simple of an approach.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is mainly an inherited disease and the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 50. This disease progresses over time and can destroy central vision impairing the ability to perform everyday tasks, and there’s not a known cure to stop the progression. However, what has been shown to prevent the effects of this disease is a very carefully crafted diet on the advice of an eye doctor.

While it may be clear to many people that smoking or obesity definitely increase the risk of eye diseases and other health problems, any deficiency of the right vitamins in your system could also be detrimental. Plus, establishing what your body needs as you get older such as which medication to take, types of exercise, and even reconsidering how much water you drink, altogether will ensure healthy eyes and body, or at the very least, allow time to detect early signs of eye disease and begin treatment and avoid nearly any vision loss. Unfortunately, too many patients discover they suffer from macular degeneration until only there’s been a loss of central vision in one eye.

Discovering what vitamins or supplements you may need on your own may not actually your individual needs, but there are a few well known supplements and healthy superfoods that generally reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Ultimately, discussing what you should take is best discussed with your local eye care professional who can narrow down the options for your specific visual needs.

  • Foods like dark, leafy green vegetables, fish or fish oil, and a daily intake of fruits & nuts
  • Increase the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin. There are studies that suggest these carotenoids play a part in reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Some suggest increasing the intake of antioxidants
  • Multivitamin or multimineral supplements.
  • For those diagnosed with macular degeneration or show early signs, your eye doctor will likely recommend a formulation called AREDS or a similar supplement package that’s specific to macular health. Some include:
    • I-Caps AREDS 2 (Alcon)
    • PreserVision AREDS 2 (Bausch + Lomb)
    • Eyepex Macula (Eyepex Formulas)
    • MacularProtect Complete AREDS2 (ScienceBased Health).
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates & sugars

As with any nutritional advice, staying ahead via prevention is key. Keep a close watch on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They are very easy to review on a regular basis and are a basic guide regarding your overall health.