How Nutritional Supplements Could Delay or Prevent Vision Loss to AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the gradual breakdown of the macula, or the portion of the retina responsible for clear central vision. As the cells of the macula break down, central vision slowly deteriorates and blind spots appear in the center of the visual field.
Although there is currently no known cure for the disease, nor any way to avoid getting it, research indicates that consuming certain nutrients (through food sources or supplementation) can delay or prevent vision loss to AMD. The team at Intracoastal Eye explains more here.
A large study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 discovered that taking a daily supplement with a particular formula (known as the AREDS 2 formula) may help people with early- to mid-stage AMD — a.k.a., “dry” AMD, where tiny yellow deposits called drusen form under the retina. Experts believe that this formula may prevent or delay dry AMD from advancing to the later stage (a.k.a., “wet” AMD), in which the blood vessels that nourish the retina leak; new, abnormal blood vessels develop; and vision loss occurs.
The AREDS 2 formula includes the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly eye-friendly nutrients. These carotenoids make up a protective layer called the macular pigment, which helps to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals and absorb harmful rays of blue and ultraviolet light. Although lutein and zeaxanthin can be obtained through food sources like leafy greens, most people don’t get enough of these nutrients in their daily diet. Taking a nutritional supplement with these nutrients is an excellent way to get the maximum benefit.
It’s important to reiterate that consuming these nutrients through food sources or through a nutritional supplement with the AREDS 2 formula won’t prevent AMD; instead, it will reduce the risk of mild to moderate AMD getting worse and inducing vision loss.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Starting Any Supplements
Before changing your diet or starting a new supplement, it is important to discuss it with your primary care doctor and eye doctor. The team at Intracoastal Eye would be happy to discuss whether you could benefit from taking supplements to reduce your risk of losing vision to AMD, and whether there are any possible health risks.
To make an appointment with the team at Intracoastal Eye, please call or email our team today.