Have you been diagnosed with macular degeneration? You’re far from alone, as it’s estimated that almost 11 million people in the United States suffer from this disease. While scientists are working on finding a cure, they aren’t quite there yet. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent and holistically treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It all starts with ensuring your eyes get the nutrients they need. Specifically, you should add macular degeneration vitamins that contain the nutrients best suited to treat this disease.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a disease that affects the macula. The macula is a tiny part of the retina near the back of the eye. Its main job is to sharpen vision to be able to see things clearly, and it’s crucial for our central vision and visual acuity. The first sign of AMD is blurriness in your central vision. The view straight ahead of you may seem darker than it actually is, or less crisp. Although it doesn’t lead to complete blindness, AMD can lead to a total loss of your central vision.
There are two forms of AMD: wet and dry. In the dry form, the light-sensitive cells in the macula degenerate and it often develops into wet form. In the wet form, abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula and leak fluid. Before you notice early signs of AMD, you should go for regular eye exams and consider taking macular degeneration vitamins to stop this disease before it even begins developing.
The Best Vitamins for Macular Degeneration
If you want to prevent AMD or start treating your existing diagnosis, macular degeneration vitamins are the way to go. Natural supplements have been extremely helpful for people with all types of diseases, diet restrictions, and lifestyles. If you can’t get all the following nutrients in your diet from food, consider macular degeneration vitamins or supplements.
Macula lutea is the full name of the macula. It gets this name from the presence of lutein which, interestingly, turns the macula a yellow color. The macula is responsible for receiving light in the retina and sending that information to the brain. However, it’s susceptible to damage from various light sources like UV rays and blue light.
Lutein absorbs the excess light that enters the macula to prevent it from causing this damage. Since it’s also an antioxidant, it neutralizes the free radicals present in the macula. Free radicals are the culprits of oxidative stress and cell damage, which can lead to AMD.
If you’re looking for macular degeneration vitamins to prevent the disease, lutein is a must. Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with early or late-stage AMD, this nutrient can benefit you. We get lutein from colorful plants like leafy greens, tomatoes, squash and carrots.
2. Vitamin A
This is one of the vitamins for macular degeneration that goes by many names. Vitamin A that comes from plants starts as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. When you consume vitamin A from animal-based foods, it’s in retinol form. So, to prevent or treat AMD, you need beta-carotene. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye, the cornea, from infection and disease.
Where can you get beta-carotene? You guessed it! From carrots. Other sources are sweet potatoes, greens, and cantaloupe. You can also get it from a natural supplement or from macular degeneration vitamins.
3. Vitamin C
This superstar vitamin gets used by almost every cell in the body. And the eyes are no exception; they need vitamin C for healthy blood vessels and iron absorption. It’s crucial for the health of the connective tissues and capillaries in the retina. Vitamin C helps prevent AMD by protecting the retina and macula from damage.
It’s a powerful antioxidant that prevents cell damage from free radicals, which are a cause of AMD. Plus, it was listed in the ARED study mentioned above as a vitamin to take to prevent AMD. In combination with the other antioxidants listed, vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for macular degeneration.
You can get vitamin C in your diet from oranges and other citrus fruits, as well as leafy greens. If you’re looking for vitamins for macular degeneration, choose a supplement that includes vitamin C.
4. Vitamin E
Your immune system relies heavily on vitamin E to help repair and replace cells. Like other antioxidants, vitamin E neutralizes oxidization. Vitamin E helps the body produce new red blood cells, which is crucial for your immune system and your eyes’ ability to ward off disease. Although most forms of AMD are age-related, some are not. Taking the right vitamins for macular degeneration can prevent and prolong the onset of AMD.
The body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin E, we must get it from our diets. These foods are rich in vitamin E: avocado, peanuts, mango, and vegetable oils. However, some diets won’t allow the consumption of these foods, particularly low-fat diets. Try macular degeneration vitamins in supplement form instead.
Zinc is a crucial vitamin because other nutrients depend on it. We talked about how important vitamin A is for the eyes; zinc carries vitamin A to the retina so it can protect it. Those with zinc deficiencies might notice an increased susceptibility to sickness and infections. However, too much zinc can cause an upset stomach. It’s crucial to understand how much zinc you get through your diet now before adding more.
You can get zinc in poultry, eggs, red meat, seafood, tofu, and beans. Since it’s becoming more common to eat vegetarian and vegan diets, a supplement might be your best option. Macular degeneration vitamins usually contain an optimal dose of zinc.
Treating AMD with Macular Degeneration Vitamins
Before you opt for laser surgery or anti-angiogenic drugs, consider natural treatment methods like macular degeneration vitamins. Like most diseases, your diet affects your symptoms and outlook. You won’t be able to cure existing AMD with vitamins, but you can prevent, reduce the speed of development, and moderate it. Talk to your eye doctor about vitamins for macular degeneration.