Two million individuals in the United States aged 50 years and older suffer from age-related macular degeneration. It is one of the primary factors responsible for destroying vision in middle age, and too few people take action to stop or prevent the process. The fact is that while aging (and aging of your eyes) cannot be avoided, the natural aging process does not have to result in a loss of your visual acuity, and certainly not in a complete vision loss.
Instead of going through life believing that there is nothing you can do to protect your eyes, how about tapping into the wonderful world of antioxidants to give your body and eyes a much needed boost.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, more easily called AMD, is a condition that is most commonly seen in Americans around 55 years of age or older. In fact, AMD is the leading cause of blindness in America in this age group, and by the age of 65, approximately one-third of the population has been affected by AMD.
The growing number of people affected by AMD is becoming a huge problem and concern. In a country that is so reliant upon medical technology, AMD is a trying vision complication because corrective lenses can do little to assist those with the condition.
The reason corrective lenses don’t really work lies in the biology of the eye and how AMD damages it. The macula is located in the center of the retina, and is the primary part of the eye responsible for our central vision, and for reading. It is where the light sensitive cells of the eye are located; basically, it is the region of maximum visual acuity.
Age-related macular degeneration eats away at the macula when the light sensitive cells are damaged or when unwanted blood vessels grow under the macula and leak fluid. The damage caused can not be fixed with a prescription. This creates a situation in which the individual suffering from macular degeneration can no longer do most of the things that kept them high-functioning and independent, including driving.
To further complicate the situation, the 55+ age group is the fastest growing age group within the United States. This has created a serious health issue within the country, and it’s left public health officials, as well as the aging American population, seeking other forms of vision health assistance.
Antioxidants in the Fight Against AMD
Are you coming up on middle age? Know someone who is? Perhaps you know someone who has already been affected by AMD? Well, research into the area of alternative treatment and prevention methods for AMD has shown great promise in the form of antioxidant supplementation.
Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, copper, and alpha-lipoic acid were all identified as antioxidants that can delay the progression of AMD. This combination may even be beneficial in reducing your risk of AMD development. Taking a multivitamin geared toward eye health, like our Ocu-Plus Formula, can help provide you with both the aforementioned set of antioxidants, as well as additional supplementation for improved eye health and eye disease prevention.
It should be noted, however, that research into the use of antioxidants did find that the use of lutein by smokers or former smokers can increase the risk for lung cancer. Never fear! There is still a safe way to get the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins needed to maintain healthy vision. If you’re a smoker or former smoker, substitute the lutein portion of your antioxidant formula for beta carotene and zeaxanthin.
Taking Extra Care with Your Eyes
It should also be noted that you need to be sure to consume vitamins in clinically safe doses at all times. In some cases, taking higher than recommended amounts of vitamins like A and E can increase your risk for serious harm or, in rare cases, even death. However, taking supplements as instructed is beneficial.
So, if you can’t get the needed antioxidants and vitamins through natural foods, a safe, formulated supplement from a trusted source is the best way to start your AMD prevention routine. Many of these antioxidants can be found in foods like kale, carrots, broccoli, olives, spinach and almonds to name a few. But, we understand that it’s not always easy to keep up with a healthy diet with today’s busy lifestyles. A formulated supplement will take care of that.
Then, work on getting healthy physically. A balanced diet along with regular exercise can really make a difference in general well-being and give your eyes the boost they need to stay healthy, strong and happy.