Because visual loss substantially reduces quality of life, effective management of ARMD will have increasing public health importance as the population ages. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people over age 65 years should have a comprehensive eye examination every 1 to 2 years to check for cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other conditions. Those who complain of difficulty reading, driving at night, or adapting from sunlight to indoor lighting might have macular degeneration. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.
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Age-related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Treatment
Find out why Add to Clipboard. Add to Collections. Order articles. Fetching bibliography Other complement factors also may be associated with an increased risk of macular degeneration.
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Other research has shown that oxygen-deprived cells in the retina produce a type of protein called vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF , which triggers the growth of new blood vessels in the retina. The normal function of VEGF is to create new blood vessels during embryonic development, after an injury or to bypass blocked blood vessels. But too much VEGF in the eye causes the development of unwanted blood vessels in the retina that easily break open and bleed, damaging the macula and surrounding retina.
Besides affecting older populations, AMD occurs in whites and females in particular. The disease also can result as a side effect of some drugs, and it seems to run in families. New evidence strongly suggests smoking is high on the list of risk factors for macular degeneration. Other risk factors for macular degeneration include having a family member with AMD, high blood pressure, lighter eye color and obesity.
Some researchers believe that over-exposure to sunlight also may be a contributing factor in development of macular degeneration, but this theory has not been proven conclusively. High levels of dietary fat also may be a risk factor for developing AMD. The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that findings regarding AMD and risk factors have been contradictory, depending on the study. The only risk factors consistently found in studies to be associated with the eye disease are aging and smoking.
There is as yet no outright cure for age-related macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision. Treatments for macular degeneration depend on whether the disease is in its early-stage, dry form or in the more advanced, wet form that can lead to serious vision loss. No FDA-approved treatments exist yet for dry macular degeneration, although nutritional intervention may help prevent its progression to the wet form. Lucentis has been shown to improve vision in a significant number of people with macular degeneration. Many organizations and independent researchers are conducting studies to determine if dietary modifications can reduce a person's risk of macular degeneration and vision loss associated with the condition.
And some of these studies are revealing positive associations between good nutrition and reduced risk of AMD. For example, some studies have suggested a diet that includes plenty of salmon and other coldwater fish, which contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids , may help prevent AMD or reduce the risk of its progression. Other studies have shown that supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin increase the density of pigments in the macula that are associated with protecting the eyes from AMD.
Macular Degeneration Treatment | Symptoms & Diagnosis
Visit and bookmark our Eye Nutrition News page for the latest developments in nutritional research that may prevent or limit vision problems from AMD, cataracts and other eye conditions. Although much progress has been made recently in macular degeneration treatment research, complete recovery of vision lost to AMD is unlikely. Your eye doctor may ask you to check your vision regularly with the Amsler grid described above. Viewing the Amsler grid separately with each eye helps you monitor your vision loss.
The Amsler grid is a very sensitive test and it may reveal central vision problems before your eye doctor sees AMD-related damage to the macula in a routine eye exam. For those who have vision loss from macular degeneration, many low vision devices are available to help with mobility and specific visual tasks.
Published online May Healthy diets and the subsequent prevalence of nuclear cataract in women. Archives of Ophthalmology.
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December Oily fish consumption, dietary docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid intakes, and associations with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. August March Dietary carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and risk of cataract in women. January Complement C3 variant and the risk of age-related macular degeneration. New England Journal of Medicine. Macular pigment response to a supplement containing meso-zeaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.
source url May Archives of Ophthalmology , April Lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet and serum and their relation to age-related maculopathy in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology. Macular pigment and risk for age-related macular degeneration in subjects from a Northern European population. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. February Dietary fat and fish intake and age-related maculopathy.