What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD or ARMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among Americans who are age 65 and older.
AMD is degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive. Because the macula primarily is affected in AMD, central vision loss may occur.
Macular degeneration is diagnosed as either dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). Neovascular refers to growth of new blood vessels in an area, such as the macula, where they are not supposed to be.
The dry form is more common than the wet form, with about 85 to 90 percent of AMD patients diagnosed with dry AMD. The wet form of the disease usually leads to more serious vision loss.
Dry AMD is an early stage of the disease and may result from the aging and thinning of macular tissues, depositing of pigment in the macula or a combination of the two processes.
In about 10 percent of cases, dry AMD progresses to the more advanced and damaging form of the eye disease. With wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This leakage causes permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells, which die off and create blind spots in central vision.
Commonly named risk factors for developing macular degeneration include:
Obesity and Inactivity
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Drug Side Effects
Nutrition and Macular Degeneration:
Studies have shown strong evidence that high levels of antioxidants such as beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamins C and E and nutrients such as zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables) can help lower the risk for AMD or slow down the progression of dry macular degeneration. Studies have also shown that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are particularly prevalent in cold-water fish, also had a protective effect against advanced macular degeneration.
Eye care practitioners often detect early signs of macular degeneration before symptoms occur. Usually this is accomplished through a retinal exam.
Here at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, Dr. Kenneth Andronico specializes in Macular Degeneration and can devise a plan for preventive and anti aging eye health. Call today for an appointment: 407 355 9246
Our Ophthalmologist, Dr. Kenneth Andronico, who is also a cornea specialist, treats Macular Degeneration via innovative IV and nutritional supplementation as an adjunct to vitamin supplementation and medical or surgical treatment modalities. Dr. Andronico is available for appointments on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Our next blog will cover the condition ‘Dry Eye’ and its’ treatment.