Macular degeneration affects central vision, and some sufferers can no longer read books, write out checks, find phone numbers in a directory, watch television, or see the facial expressions of their loved ones. Simple tasks become impossible and frustration is common. Patients may feel alone because no one they know can relate to macular degeneration’s devastating effects. Not even a new prescription for glasses can restore the individual’s poor eyesight. Many age-related macular degeneration patients fear that they will go to sleep and wake up to nothing but complete darkness.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a debilitating eye disease affecting the elderly. Within the eye is the macula, an area that allows people to see fine details and colors. Macular degeneration prevents the macula from properly functioning and the vision becomes blurred. The most distinguishing aspect of this eye disease is that round spots cover the sufferer’s field of vision so that it is difficult to see things that are straight ahead. Fine details are impossible to see, but the person’s peripheral vision is unchanged.
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet. Dry age-related macular degeneration is the result of fatty tissues called drusen building up beneath the retina. Wet macular degeneration is caused by abnormal blood vessels forming in the eye. Up to 90 percent of people diagnosed with macular degeneration have the dry form.
Ways to Prevent Macular Degeneration
Doctors say that there is no way to undo the harm that this eye disease has caused to the macula, but there are a few things that may lower your risks. These include quitting smoking, losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and taking a vitamin supplement for macular degeneration. Also, if you have a history of macular degeneration in your family, you are at a higher risk for developing the disease. You will need to see an eye specialist frequently for preventative care.
Take Your Vitamins
Doctors agree that nothing will reverse the damage caused by age-related macular degeneration, but studies have revealed interesting data in regards to this eye disease. Yellow and green vegetables help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Vegetables like squash, corn, broccoli, and spinach contain a variety of nutrients and antioxidants including lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids. These vitamins and minerals may actually prevent macular degeneration in some people.
Doctors suggest that people choose a vitamin supplement for macular degeneration like VisiVite i-Defense Gold Formula that contains lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. In fact, some retina specialists believe that this combination of vitamins and minerals are of benefit to people who are already suffering from macular degeneration in one eye. VisiVite i-Defense Gold Formula may actually slow the drusen forming in the macula and prevent the eye disease from forming in the other eye.
Keep Those Eye Doctor Appointments
One important aspect of senior eye health is to see your eye doctor often. You may already have age-related macular degeneration, but not be exhibiting symptoms. A retina specialist can determine if you have any eye diseases during an exam when your eyes are fully dilated.
Expect to have a dilated eye exam every few years or more often if you already have an eye disease. You may also need more frequent eye exams if you are overweight, are a smoker, or have a history of age-related macular degeneration in your family. All of these factors contribute to a higher incidence of this eye disease.
Learn to Adapt with Low Vision Aids
Being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration can be quite frightening. The important thing is to ask your retina specialist the right questions so that you know what to expect and how to properly cope with this eye disease. Your eye doctor can direct you on some important things that may help you manage your condition.
For instance, you might invest in some special lighting that can prevent glare. Optical devices and magnifiers are available for you to see things better close up, but you might have to shop around to find the best one to suit your individual needs. Large print books may enable you to continue with a cherished pastime – reading! Reading machines have given many people with macular degeneration the ability to cope with this eye disease by reading aloud information to users.
If you are diagnosed with a retinal disease like macular degeneration, it is very important that you realize you are not alone. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Your eye doctor may have suggestions to help you adapt to the issues that age-related macular degeneration causes. Scientific evidence has shown that everyone with this disease should take a vitamin supplement for macular degeneration like VisiVite i-Defense Gold Formula to try and prevent your blurred vision from worsening and possibly improve vision. Also, there are many different low vision aids, magnifiers and optical devices, and other resources available for the visually impaired. Please remember that it is important that you see your retina specialist often, especially if your eyesight is worsening or if you suspect a problem.
©2006, Vitamin Science Inc, www.visivite.com, manufactures VisiVite nutritional supplements for eye health, such as VisiVite i-Defense Gold Formula (http://www.visivite.com/premier-eye-vitamin.html).
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