Do Vitamins Help Reduce the Risk of AMD?
Blurred vision is one of the most common symptoms of eye diseases that affect the retina. Early signs of macular degeneration include blurry vision, difficulty seeing in dim light and faded-looking colors. The macula is the part of the retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that causes loss in the center of the field of vision and has 2 types: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration refers to the deterioration of the center if the retina while wet macular degeneration refers to leaky blood vessels that grow under the retina. Most people diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration suffer from dry AMD, also known as atrophic AMD. Risk factors include being age 50 or older, smoking, high blood pressure and consuming a diet high that is saturated fat.
Age-related macular degeneration does not have a known case, but research indicates that a combination of family history, genetics, age and environmental factors such as smoking, obesity and diet contribute to its development. High glycemic diets have been associated with the onset and progression of AMD. If a diet lacking in required nutrients contributes to macular degeneration, do vitamins help reduce the risk of AMD? The Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) suggests that a combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may slow the progression of dry AMD. Ingredients include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zinc, copper and zeaxanthin. The specific AREDS formula is 500mg of vitamin C, 400IU of vitamin E, 15mg of beta-carotene, 80mg of zinc as zinc oxide and 2mg of copper as cupric oxide. An updated trial, known as AREDS2, adds 10mg of lutein and 2mg zeaxanthin to the original formula. The addition of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, are also highly recommended. Not only have these supplements proven to help with AMD but they are excellent sources of nutrients for overall eye health. Other natural and beneficial foods for AMD include leafy green vegetables, high-fiber fruit and reducing sugar intake. Maintaining a healthy weight and incorporating exercise will also reduce the risk of macular degeneration and slow its progression.
With treatment, macular degeneration can significantly lower the likelihood of vision loss. To check the health of your macula and to have comprehensive retinal testing with Associated Retina Consultants, book your appointment by calling our office at 602-242-4928 or submitting a request here WEBSITE.