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Age–Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Nutritional Supplements
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease caused by damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the eye’s retina that is responsible for our central vision.
This condition affects both distance and close vision and can make some activities—like threading a needle or reading—very difficult or impossible. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 65.
Although the exact causes of AMD are not fully understood, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS ) has shown that some antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the impact of AMD in some people.
The study found that people at risk for developing advanced stages of AMD lowered their risk by about 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. Among those who have either no AMD or very early AMD, the supplements did not appear to provide an apparent benefit.
Deposits under the retina called drusen, are a common sign of AMD. Drusen alone usually do not cause vision loss, but when they increase in size or numbers, this generally indicates an increased risk of developing advanced AMD. People at risk of developing advanced AMD may have significant drusen, prominent dry AMD, or abnormal blood vessels under the macula in one eye (wet form).
The new AREDS 2 nutrient supplementation shown to be beneficial contains:
Vitamin C
  500mg
Vitamin E
  400 IU
Lutein
  10mg
Zeaxanthin
  2mg
Zinc Oxide
  80mg
Copper
  2mg



Macular Degeneration and Nutrition
The levels of antioxidants and zinc that were shown to be effective in slowing AMD’s progression cannot be consumed through your diet alone. These vitamins and minerals are recommended in specific daily amounts as supplements to a healthy, balanced diet.
Some people may prefer not to take large doses of antioxidants or zinc because of medical reasons. The study did not reveal any evidence of toxicity of the treatment.
Should I take antioxidant vitamins for macular degeneration?
It is very important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision you may have already lost from the disease. However, specific amounts of these supplements do play a key role in helping some people at high risk for advanced AMD to maintain their vision. Talk to your ophthalmologist to determine if you are at risk for developing advanced AMD and to learn if supplements are recommended for you.
Compliments of your Ophthalmologist

MARCUS A. EAST, M.D., LLC
RYAN W. LAPOUR, M.D., LLC
JOHN G. DODD, D.O., LLC
655 Medical Center Dr NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

mceyeclinic.com

Ph  :  (503) 581-5287
Fax:  (503) 386-1377

P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
www.aao.org

Copyright© 2001 American Academy of Ophthalmology
The Eye M.D. Association