Lowering the Risk of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can be a debilitating disease, and it is difficult to help patients who have developed moderate to advanced cases of the disease. That is why protecting your eyes is crucial to lower your risk of sight loss. If you are at risk for or actually have dry macular degeneration, you would be wise to take steps to lower your risk.
Firstly, the foods you eat make a big difference. Dark leafy greens in a large salad every day are super important. Some patients are told not eat them by their doctor, but Dr. Keats recommends you talk with your doctor to see if your medications could be altered so you enjoy significant amounts of Kale and other dark greens on a daily basis with your doctor’s approval. Of course, patients who smoke and live a generally unhealthy lifestyle in their other food choices can’t expect to see dramatic benefits without stopping the choices that lead to oxidative retinal damage.
Secondly, all of our Clearwater, FL eye care patients should protect their eyes from UV A, UV B and high energy Blue Light that is emitted not only by sunlight, but also fluorescent bulbs, flat screen TV’s, computer screens and hand held devices. Patients at risk for macular degeneration would be wise to block all three types of rays. Until recently only UVA and B were in traditional anti-reflective coatings, but now there are coatings like Crizal’s Prevencia anti-reflective coating that gives patients this valuable protection. With the inundation of these additional indoor light sources since the turn of the century, blue blocking is ever more important for long term retinal eye health.
Finally, though we may try to eat healthy, most people are not eating enough nutrient dense foods to create therapeutic doses of the essential carotenoids that are necessary to build protective pigments in the macula. Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-zeaxanthin in the right amounts will serve to protect the macula from oxidative stress. However, macular patients usually have less of these pigments than healthier individuals. Therefore, supplementing with all three nutrients is superior than just taking Lutein or Zeaxanthin alone. The only vitamin on the market that has all three carotenoids is MacuHealth. These nutrients can be ordered at MacuHealth.com, or stop in Dr. Keats’ office to purchase some.
Other nutrients found in other eye vitamins that may be helpful too, like MaxiVision Ocular Formula, but Dr. Keats recommends MacuHealth since it contains the very important meso-zeazanthin. Dr. Keats recommends most of his macular patients take at least 10 mg of Lutein, 4mg of Zeaxanthin, and 10 mg of Meso-zeathanthin.
In summary, eat healthy, block UV and blue light, and supplement with Lutein, Zeazanthin, and Meso-zeazanthin to lower risk of rapid progression toward severe dry or wet degeneration. Regular eye exams every 6-12 months can allow Dr. Keats in Clearwater, FL to see if your macular degeneration is progressing or stable.