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Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes a loss of vision in the center of your field of vision. Macular degeneration is marked by deterioration of the macula, which is in the center of the retina—the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of the eyeball.
Macular degeneration can be age-related or genetically inherited. There are two forms of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration does not cause total blindness, but it worsens quality of life by blurring or causing a blind spot in your central vision. Clear central vision is essential for reading, driving and recognizing faces.
Wet macular degeneration is marked by swelling (caused by leaking blood vessels) that affect the macula. Wet macular degeneration is the more severe of the two and can cause permanent vision loss.
There are several risk factors for developing macular degeneration, including (but not limited to):
Do not smoke, try to exercise more, lose weight, eat better and wear glasses with ultraviolet protection and/or sunglasses whenever you are outside.
The average American diet lacks many basic nutrients and requires the use of supplements. In addition to a quality multivitamin, higher doses of certain vitamins, Omega-3s and carotenoids can lower the risk of developing macular degeneration.
There are a few different options:
If you are currently taking a quality multivitamin, you can add the higher dose of vitamins, Omega-3s and carotenoids by taking Presevision AREDS 2. This supplement is made by Baush & Lomb and is available at most drugstores.
If you are not taking a quality multivitamin and you are interested in incorporating that as well as the Omega-3s and carotenoids, you can use both Macula Complete and ZoOmega-3 (available from Biosyntrx).
Another combination that serves as a multivitamin is MaxiVision Whole Body Formula, which needs an additional Omega-3 just like the Macula Complete.
There are other options available, but be sure to follow the AREDS guidelines below:
500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 International Units of vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta-carotene (often labeled as equivalent to 25,000 International Units of vitamin A), 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide, two milligrams of copper as cupric oxide, 10mg lutein/2mg zeaxanthin and 350mg DHA/650mg EPA.
Unfortunately, macular degeneration is not a preventable disease. However, the previous suggestions may reduce your risk of developing advanced macular degeneration by up to 80%. Furthermore, studies have shown the same formulation can increase visual function, visual acuity and decrease glare and contrast problems after just three to six months.
Depending on the severity of the damage, we may need to examine you at three month, six month or yearly intervals. Appropriate monitoring is essential for detecting the subtle changes with macular degeneration. If you are suffering from macular degeneration or would like a screening, schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists today at Alpine Vision. We have offices in Colorado Springs, Falcon, and Windsor. For more information call Alpine Vision today!