Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among people over 50. It affects the macula, a spot near the retina which is responsible for the central vision.
The progression of the disease varies from patient to patient, it may be slow or fast. In this post, your local eye doctor from Clear View Vision Care tackles AMD and its treatment options.
Who Are at Risk of AMD?
Aside from age, you are also at higher risk of AMD if you have a family member who has the condition. It is also more common among Caucasian people than among African-Americans or Hispanics. If you are smoking, you are twice as likely to develop the disease.
Eye exams are important because early to intermediate cases of AMD usually begins with no symptoms. The condition can only be detected via a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
There is still no treatment for early AMD, but the vision can be maintained through good habits like exercising, not smoking and including green leafy vegetables and fish to your diet.
National Eye Institute researchers have studied whether nutritional supplements can slow the progression of the disease in people with intermediate AMD and those who have late AMD in one eye.
In the first Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) trial, it was discovered that the combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper can reduce the risk of late AMD by 25%.
The AREDS2 trial aimed to improve the previous formulation by adding lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids. The study found out that replacing beta-carotene with a 5:1 mixture of lutein and zeaxanthin may help further lessen the risk of late AMD. While beta-carotene has been linked to the higher risk of lung cancer in smokers and former smokers, lutein and zeaxanthin have been proven safe.
AREDS and AREDS2 discovered that the combination of certain minerals below can help patients with intermediate AMD:
- 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 400 international units of vitamin E
- 80 mg zinc as zinc oxide
- 2 mg copper as cupric oxide
- 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin
There are various supplements offered in pharmacies so it’s best to talk with your doctor on which supplement is right for you.
Moreover, patients with advanced neovascular AMD can undergo therapies like injections, photodynamic therapy and laser surgery.
Consult With Your Eye Doctor
Routine eye exams are essential in the early diagnosis of AMD especially if you are at higher risk. At Clear View Vision Care, we are your local provider of comprehensive eye exams and vision therapy. We also offer LipiFlow for dry eyes treatment. Call us at 520-327-9411 or complete our online form to set an appointment. We serve patients in Tucson, AZ.