Macular Degeneration

There is no known way to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), although the vitamin/mineral combination described earlier (high doses of vitamin C, E, beta carotene and zinc-along with copper) can slow intermediate or early advanced AMD from progressing.

Your best bet for protecting your eyesight is getting regular, comprehensive eye examinations. If you are diagnosed with dry AMD, the National Eye Institute recommends a dilated pupil eye exam at least once a year. And, because dry AMD can progress to wet AMD, if you have dry AMD, you might want to discuss with your health care professional whether you should use an Amsler grid to check each eye periodically for signs of wet AMD. If you detect changes, contact your health care professional for an eye exam.

If you are diagnosed with wet AMD, and your health care professional may recommend laser surgery/photodynamic therapy/injections, don’t delay the procedure. If you do, the disease may progress to the point where treatment to try to slow its progression and protect remaining sight may not be an option. Ask your health care professional which other steps you should take to evaluate and preserve your vision, particularly in the arena of vitamin/mineral supplements.

Your lifestyle can play a role in reducing your risk of developing AMD:

  • eat a healthy diet high in green, leafy vegetables and fish   * do not smoke
  • maintain normal blood pressure
  • watch your weight
  • exercise

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