I would so appreciate any information about age-related macular degeneration. It is scary not knowing what is ahead! Might special vitamins be of help?
While vitamins can’t cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD), research suggests that eating plenty of fish, green leafy vegetables, and fruits may delay its progression and preserve vision. See below for a list of potentially sight-saving nutrients in foods and supplements.
Most people with macular degeneration have the “dry” form of the disease. It is characterized by the gradual breakdown of cells in the macula, the part of the eye responsible for detailed vision. In “wet” AMD, abnormal blood vessels damage the macula—disrupting vision in the process. Laser and drug therapies to eliminate the extra vessels may allow patients to see more clearly.
Periodic dilated eye exams help ophthalmologists and their patients monitor symptoms and make treatment decisions. Getting regular exercise, maintaining normal blood pressure and weight, and not smoking are also important. In the future, scientists hope that advances with stem cells and genes will prevent or cure the disease.
Data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study show that taking the following supplements reduced the risk of vision loss in some people with intermediate or advanced AMD:
- 500 mg vitamin C
- 400 IU vitamin E
- 15 mg beta carotene
- 80 mg zinc (as zinc oxide)
- 2 mg copper (as cupric oxide)
More recent studies show that adding lutein and zeaxanthin to the diet may also reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD. These carotenoids are found in the macula. Food sources include Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, kale, and greens.
Medical Mailbox supplements the advice of your healthcare provider, whom you should consult for personal medical problems.