As we age, our risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that causes permanent vision loss, increases. Fortunately, a specific formulation of vitamins and minerals named AREDS2 has been shown to slow the progression of this sight-robbing disease.
Contact Freedom Eye Care Lasik & Cataract Surgery Center in Austin to find out how to manage AMD and discuss which supplements can be taken to prevent its rapid progression.
But First, What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious eye disease that deteriorates central vision and leads to blindness. It affects the functioning of the macula, the part of the retina responsible for the clear, detailed central vision vital for driving, reading and many other aspects of everyday life.
AMD comes in 2 forms: wet and dry.
Approximately 90% of AMD cases are dry AMD, a slower-moving form caused by thinning of the macula. Dry AMD generally progresses slowly over the course of many years or even decades. By the time people notice symptoms like blurred vision, permanent vision loss has already occurred.
The wet form of AMD is significantly more serious than the dry form. It’s caused by the growth of new and fragile blood vessels that can leak and damage the macula. The sudden onset of wet AMD can lead to widespread vision loss within hours or days, and requires medical immediate attention.
Unlike dry AMD, wet AMD can often be successfully treated with eye injections.
What Do AREDS2 Supplements Do For Your Eyes?
The AREDS2 formulation is considered an essential part of macular eye health treatment. The combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, zinc and copper effectively reduces the risk of AMD progression.
According to the National Eye Institute, AREDS2 supplements can successfully slow down or even stop intermediate AMD progression and reduce the risk of dry AMD from transforming into a more serious wet AMD.
Moreover, AREDS2 slows the appearance and progression of AMD in both eyes, even in situations where only one eye is affected.
A Few More Ways To Protect Your Eyes From Macular Degeneration
While macular degeneration cannot be completely prevented, keeping a healthy weight and blood pressure, not smoking, and wearing sunglasses that block 100% of the sun's harmful UV rays can reduce the risk.
So can consuming foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients typically found in leafy green vegetables, eggs and nuts.
Early diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration increase your chances of preserving your vision. Unfortunately, by the time AMD becomes symptomatic, vision loss has often occurred. This is why getting routine eye exams to monitor your vision and eye health cannot be overstated.
Seeking an Eye Exam and Eye Care in Austin?
Whether you’re coming in for a routine eye exam or you have a specific concern, such as macular degeneration or another eye disease, our team at Freedom Eye Care Lasik & Cataract Surgery Center in Austin will take the time to listen to your needs and provide you with the best possible care.
Our practice serves patients from Austin, South Austin, Sunset Valley, and Bluff Springs, Texas and surrounding communities.
A: In addition to slowing the progression of macular degeneration, vitamin E may slow the formation of cataracts. Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods, including vegetable oils, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
Q: How many people worldwide have macular degeneration?
A: Roughly 200 million people worldwide have macular degeneration, a number projected to rise to 288 million by 2040.