Health & Wellness

Macular Degeneration

Lev Shustarovich/Lipotriad LLC  –  When it comes to aging, little is more terrifying than losing your independence through the loss of your sight. A common cause of blindness in older adults is age-related macular degeneration (“AMD”), an eye disease which usually affects adults over the age of 50. There are three stages of AMD: early, intermediate, and advanced. The most common form of macular degeneration is found in the early and intermediate stages and is known as the “dry” form. Dry AMD accounts for about 90% of all cases with the remaining 10% of cases composed of the “wet” form of AMD, which is the advanced stage. People suffering from both forms of macular degeneration will experience difficulty seeing directly in front of them. Activities such as driving, reading, or even watching TV become difficult because the sharp central vision needed to engage in these activities successfully will be blurred. In extreme cases, macular degeneration can eventually lead to blindness in one or both eyes. Permanent blindness is usually a result of the more aggressive “wet” macular degeneration. About 1.7 million Americans have some form of macular degeneration and it is now the leading cause of vision loss among Americans age 65 and over.

Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, researchers have discovered several measures people can take to help prevent the onset of the disease and slow its development. A study done by the National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that taking a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduces the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss. According to studies done by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, a high intake of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in particular can decrease your risk of AMD by as much as 43 percent, while increasing macular pigment density (a crucial factor in visual acuity) by as much as 40 percent. The National Institute of Health (NIH) also concluded that taking a combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fish oil, copper, zinc, and the vitamins C and E will help protect your lens and retina from damage and support proper moisture levels for your eyes, resulting in a lower risk of developing AMD. Based on all these studies, it is clear that supplementation with vitamins is an essential step that can help delay and possibly prevent the progression of dry macular degeneration into the advanced stage where permanent vision loss occurs.

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in adults over 50. But proactive steps can be taken to prevent and delay its onset. It is important to wear sunglasses when outside, avoid eating fatty foods, and stop smoking. Foods high in carotenoids such as cantaloupe, spinach, and carrots are great foods to eat on a regular basis. Eating a diet rich in lutein and fish oil, found in dark leafy vegetables and certain fish also supports optimal eye health. But most adults rarely get enough vision-optimizing nutrients through diet alone. Taking a daily vitamin that is high in lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega 3 fish oil provides essential nutrients to keep eyes healthy.

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Dry macular degeneration symptoms usually develop gradually. You may notice these vision changes:

  • The need for increasingly bright light when reading or doing close work
  • Increasing difficulty adapting to low light levels, such as when entering a dimly lit restaurant
  • Increasing blurriness of printed words
  • A decrease in the intensity or brightness of colors
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • A gradual increase in the haziness of your overall vision
  • A blurred or blind spot in the center of your field of vision
  • Hallucinations of geometric shapes or people, in cases of advanced macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration may affect one eye or both eyes. If only one eye is affected, you may not notice any or much change in your vision because your good eye compensates for the weak one.

AMAC, Inc. recommends that you always consult your personal physician before making any health care decisions.


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Scarlet Dinvalds

I have been taking Preser Vision AREDS/Lutein for the past year and have developed multiple urinary infections. This problem was also mentioned in a health letter published monthly. Could any of the components in this AREDS ( such as excessive zink) be responsible for my infections? I discontinued use of AREDS a month ago and it seems that my vision has deteriorated somewhat. What should I do? Any advice? My family MD. recommended that I discontinue use of AREDS and try something else. Like what?


I would like to know what eating watermelon has to di with macular degeneration. I have macular degeneration and have now has surgery in both eyes. One quite recently.


I”m a firm advocate, of vitamins, eating correctly, exercise………..I truly believe, these are the key ingredients needed for a healthy life style, for us baby boomers, I”m a Vietnam Special Forces Veteran……..and following these gude lines
I truly believe, will give you a much better quality of life, as we age


I love being a baby boomer!; We have lots of company with whom to share our aging experiences!
In this day of extensive access to research results and to each other for personal testimonies, we need never feel alone nor ignorant.
In spite of all of the bad things that this era brings, (‘Excuse me young person, your underpants are showing. Would you like to have this big safety pin, dear?’) there are consolations also. (‘For this I take Lutein?’) Seriously though, thank you for the specifics and prompting to go for an exam…and to avoid smoking. This I will do.

Mary Donehower

My eye doctor recommended taking Icap vitamins; however, I now take 20mg. of Lutein and Zeaxanthin every day. The 20mg. of Lutein has more mg. than Icap does and is less expensive.

Jan S

I was diagnosed with early stage macular degeneration 2-3 years ago – I am now 63 – I started taking PreserVision (AREDS formula) on the recommendation of my eye dr. He says it hasn’t progressed since then.

M S Jones

Five years ago I was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration. My mother, two aunts, and daughter had/have it. I immediately went on Preservision at the advice of my opthalmologist. Two years later one eye turned to “wet”. The bleeding stopped after 4 Avastin shots. My vision has actually improved with the vitamins. My doctor calls me “his poster child”.

Willis Bennett

My wife , age 75 , has been diagnosed with macilar gegeneration and her Eye doctor recomended that she start on EYE Omega Advantage by PRN Physician Recomended Neutriceuticals Plymouth Meeting , Pa.

Terry A

Does anyone know is Lasik surgery would help any?

Lila Fergus

I was diagnosed with beginning macular degeneration about ten years ago. I did my research and started adding the supplements that were recommended. In six months I had another exam – no change, so it has been yearly exams since. After a couple years my doctor said “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep it up”. I still have yearly exams and my eyes are in very good shape for my age – I’m 87.


In addition to the above mentioned supplements you may also want to check out ASTAXANTHIN, I have recently added this to my daily vitamins, purchased from procaps laboratories, they have some good information on it.


When Paul Harvey was alive, he advertised Lutein as an aid for macular degeneration. I checked some health care articles on the Internet, they confirmed the effectiveness of Lutein. It would be worth investigating if one is at risk for
developing macular degeneration.

J Fisher

Excellent info, whether the vitamin supplements will do all necessary for the eyes, they’ll most certainly help and will do wonders for the rest of the body, anyone not supplementing their regular diets, should seriously consider starting now.

Mary DeCaprio

Let’s get beyond the medical description of macular degeneration. I want to know what can be done to prevent it .
Next, I want to know what adaptive devices exist to help patients to continue reading.

I want names of helpful drugs and names of optical companies that make helpful devices.

Jim Swain

You did not mention Lucentis or Avastin. When I started Medicare I was sent for an eye exam checking for Glaucoma, the Dr saw something he was concerned with on the macular. After a return visit and pics of the back of the eye, an appointment was scheduled with a specialist. My Mom had it and spent the last 20yrs legally blind, now I have it in the right eye. In addition to eye vitamins I am having eye injections monthly with Avastin. My second is 4/20. If someone in your family has Macular problems you have the gene, get checked, the sooner the better.

Sandy R, registered nurse and researcher

There is considerable misinformation in this article, as well as incorrect presentations of the research and advice of medical professionals. I strongly urge readers to be cautious and to consult a licensed opthalmologist before beginning any dietary supplement regimen.


My wife and I just returned from a visit with her parents. Her Dad has macular degeneration and pleaded with my wife to be checked regularly because a family history reveals that both his mother and his grandmother suffered from blindness in their advancing years.

It is definitely worth having an eye exam yearly after age fifty. Just do it!


My mother suffers a great deal from this. I think that it is time that I start those vitamins. Thanks for the article.

Wayne Spaulding

Very good information to help avoid macular degeneration.