Macular degeneration

A leading cause of vision loss and blindness in elderly people is macular degeneration. Caucasians are the most likely to lose vision from macular degeneration.

The macula is a term for the center of the retina inside the back of the eye. The disease starts with the pigment layer under the retina that keeps the photoreceptors, or light processing cells of the retina, healthy.

There are two types of macular degeneration, the dry type and the wet type.

In the dry type, there may be thinning of the pigment layer, and waste material from the photoreceptors might form abnormal collections under the retina.  In the wet type, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These blood vessels cause vision loss through the leakage of fluid, blood and protein.

Macular degeneration is best treated by prevention. Wearing sunglasses at as early an age as possible will help to reduce lifetime exposure to ultraviolet and blue light, both thought to be involved in causing macular degeneration.  A healthy lifestyle with good nutrition plays an important role. Controlling high blood pressure is important. Smoking tobacco is a risk factor for vision loss from macular degeneration.  

According to the scientific studies, certain nutritional supplements reduce the risk of vision loss in people who have moderate to severe macular degeneration. The recommended nutritional supplement  is the AREDS 2 formula.

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