Age-related Macular Degeneration Treatment
Age-related Macular Degeneration is a painless condition affecting the eye, which causes a loss of central vision. In other words what you see right in front of you gets more and more blurry, but the edges of your vision look normal. As well as getting blank spots you can also get distortion of the image too. In fact an artist called Lee Allen wrote a book about his own experiences which summed it up perfectly: A Hole in my Vision.
There are two types of Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD. ‘Dry’ AMD and ‘Wet’ AMD.
The Age-related Macular Degeneration Treatment
People who develop dry macular degeneration must carefully and constantly monitor their central vision, because many people with Dry AMD go on to develop the wet form.
There is no specific treatment for Dry AMD although some studies (The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, AREDS) have shown that taking high-doses of certain vitamins and Zinc slowed down vision loss in people with intermediate or advanced AMD. Another study (‘AREDS II’) is looking at the effects of other vitamins (including Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are found in the Macula) on people with AMD.
The supplements that are thought to help are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Zinc oxide
- Cupric oxide
Certain foods contain higher levels of these compounds, foods such as:
- Kiwi fruit
- Carrots (Yes, they really are good for your eyes!)
- Leafy green vegetables
Supplementing your diet with these foods may help your vision and will certainly give you other general health benefits, but please consult your doctor/eye specialist before taking them. Until recently there was very little that could be done to help people with wet AMD. None of our treatments were very good and for most people AMD meant bad news.
However, over the last few years there has been a revolution in treating wet AMD as new treatments have become available. The most exciting of these so far are the anti-VEGF drugs Lucentis and Eylea. The most effective treatment is a medicine that is injected into the gel at the back of the eye known as the vitreous. This shrinks the abnormal blood vessels and clears the fluid from the macula. Several injections are often needed to completely treat the condition.
Restoring vision and reversing blindness.
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