About Macular Degeneration Vitamins

Light and images travel into the eye through the pupil, finally focusing on the internal wall of the eye, known as the retina. The center area of the retina that provides the details of vision that allow us to read and distinguish facial features is known as the macular.As we age, the macula inside our eyes is vulnerable to degenerative changes that can affect our ability to see these precious details. The condition is called Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and it is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the Western Hemisphere.

The left depicts how a normal retina appears when seen through the pupil. The macula is the darker orange area in the center of the left image. The right image depicts a cross section of the retina and blood vessels internally, and the important supporting tissues externally.

The early forms of this condition are called “dry” or atrophic macular degeneration. Although not usually rapidly progressive, it can cause severe vision loss. Some patients progress to “wet” or exudative macular degeneration, in which there is bleeding beneath the retina with rapidly progressive vision loss.

Dry macular degeneration, with yellow drusen originating from Bruch’s membrane that impinge on the internal retina

Research by the National Eye Institute demonstrated that high-dose nutritional supplementation with large quantities of antioxidants can slow the progression of macular degeneration. And more recent research has shown that large quantities of

lutein and zeaxanthin can improve vision and the appearance of the retina in macular degeneration.*

Wet macular degeneration, with external blood vessels breaking through Bruch’s Membrane and bleeding beneath the internal retina

Where Are These Supplements Available?

Three formulas from major pharmaceutical manufacturers exist which exactly duplicate the formula in the Age Related Eye Disease Study. For information regarding the manufacturers and availability of these vitamins, CLICK HERE.

Will taking supplements prevent eye disease?

In the absence of any disease, there is no research published that shows that taking vitamins can prevent it. However, the AREDS study did show, if there was disease in only one eye, that taking proper supplements prevented or slowed the progress of the disease in the opposite eye.

Which Supplements are Important?

In that study, specific ingredients and amounts were found to slow the progression of disease in those patients with intermediate or advanced disease. It is believed that these supplements contain specific anti-oxidants and Zinc that promote the continued health of the retina and tissues surrounding the retina.

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