Macular Degeneration Treatment
Macular degeneration treatment includes vitamins, laser therapy, medication, and visual aids. Most cases of macular degeneration occur in people over 60 years old. The disease can lead to significant vision loss but rarely causes complete blindness. Recommended vitamins for macular degeneration include Vitamin C and E. Copper, zinc, and beta-carotene are important minerals and supplements that can decrease the risk of vision loss. An eye doctor can usually detect the disease by doing a routine eye examination. The presence of yellow deposits on the retina is one obvious sign of the illness. Early diagnosis can lead to treatment that will reduce its severity. The disease is primarily inherited and risk factors include age, race, high blood pressure, smoking, vascular disease, too much sunlight, high cholesterol, and often occurs in people who are farsighted. Symptoms may include changes in vision involving blurriness, diminished colors, dark areas, and lines appearing distorted.
There is no cure for the disease but there are treatments that can slow the deterioration. Macular degeneration treatment is dependent upon the patient reporting any changes in vision promptly to an ophthalmologist. Understanding the disease and the symptoms associated with it can help the patient to know about changes that need a doctor's attention. The central part of the retina is the macula. Deterioration of the macula distorts images that the eye transmits to the brain. The less severe form of the disease results in degeneration and thinning of the nerve tissue. The more severe form involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels that leak blood on the retina causing cells to die. Treatment with laser therapy can target the abnormal blood vessels by destroying them. Another type of therapy that is used with a laser is caused photodynamic. Photodynamic laser therapy uses a drug that is absorbed by abnormal blood vessels and the cold laser beam activates the drug thus affecting the vessels that are causing the damage to vision.
Low visual aids can enhance the vision of a person with the disease by using special lenses that produce enlarge images. In addition to using visual aids vitamins for macular degeneration can help a person who is not past the advanced stage of the disease. Frequent eye exams can help an ophthalmologist to determine if treatment is successful or if a more severe form of the disease is emerging. Because abnormal blood vessels can emerge after treatment it is very important that the patient lets the doctor know immediately if there are any changes in vision.
For future considerations there are some possible treatments on the horizon. One of the considerations is called submacular surgery. This procedure would involve surgically removing abnormal blood vessels. Another macular degeneration treatment is called retinal translocation. Retinal translocation involves the rotation of the macular center moving it to a healthy area of the retina then a laser is used to treat the abnormal blood vessels that were located underneath the macula. Even after successful treatment it is possible for the condition to reoccur, for abnormal blood vessels to grow back.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet that includes lots of green vegetables can help to keep eyes healthy even after the onset of macular degeneration and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to slow degeneration. The best way to get vitamins for macular degeneration is through eating the foods that contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, copper, zinc, and beta carotene. Some of these foods are parsley, beets, cabbage, spinach, celery, kale, collard greens, wheat grasses, apples, grapes, and carrots. In addition, the patient should eliminate some items from the diet that could make the disease worse.
Smoking cigarettes can cause a toxin in the retina so a patient with the disease should quit smoking immediately. Some other substances to eliminate from the diet is soda and caffeine. Eliminate fried foods and ones high in saturated fat or cholesterol. Alcohol consumption should be limited to one drink a day or less. Macular degeneration treatment should include exercise and minimizing stress and anxiety. One of the best ways to combat the stress of an illness is to exercise daily and to pray daily. "Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." (Psalm 42:8)
Some other practices that may help someone with the disease is to wear sunglasses with ultraviolet ray protection, avoid eye stress, read with a halogen light to minimize glare and increase the level of lighting. In addition, find supplements and vitamins for macular degeneration that are beneficial for the disease and take them everyday. Supplements that contain antioxidants as well as zinc will benefit the patient with the disease. Antioxidants help to prevent cell damage that is caused by aging. Foods high in antioxidants include but are not limited to blueberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, red bell peppers, squash, oranges, and peaches.
People who have been diagnosed with the disease should consider counseling to help them to cope with reduced vision and depression that may accompany the illness. Macular degeneration treatment may be disheartening if it does not seem to help with the symptoms. Patients who have support from others do much better in coping with the disease that those who do not. A few other things to consider include making changes in the home to help with vision loss and to use visual aids as much as possible. Vision problems can make it difficult to manage a household so a patient may want to get someone to come in to help with cleaning and cooking. Counseling and rehabilitation can provide some ways to help a patient manage with the many aspects of home and work life.
Macular Degeneration AidsMacular degeneration aids are among the most important things in the world to the people who have age related macular degeneration (AMD). As many as fifteen million people in the United States have this debilitating eye disease that can only be described as black holes in the middle of our sight screens. Only the peripheral vision is left, which means that TV and driving, and reading and many of the other joys most of us take for granted are no longer available. It is estimated that thirty five percent of all those over the age of seventy five has age related macular degeneration. This disease is the number one cause of legal blindness in America. The condition is caused when the inner layer of the eye becomes detached because of cellular debris accumulates between the retina and the choroid, which is the blood supply to the eye. There is enough pressure applied with this debris that the retina is actually detached. This is called dry macular degeneration and is the most common form of the disease. In the wet form, the retina also becomes detached, this time because of blood vessels that grow up from the choroid, also detaching the retina. This is will cause legal blindness. When Peter was writing to Christians, he reminded them that they were to have patience and kindness and temperance and virtue and love. Then he said that if a Christian didn't have these things he had a serious problem: "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." (II Peter 1: 9)
To keep from developing AMD and needing macular degeneration aids, vision experts suggest a person eat a diet rich in anti-oxidants with vitamins A, C and E. Too much of these vitamins can create a toxicity in the body so check with your health care provider to see what is right for you. Eating fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is very helpful as well as stopping the smoking habit is very helpful is lowering the risk of getting this disease. Additionally, regular eye exams every couple of years for those over forty is important and screening one's own vision at home with the Amsler grid is also important. But if the disease has already developed, then information on macular degeneration aids is helpful.
The aim for some of the devices made for age related macular degeneration deal with actually taking advantage of the sight hole that these sufferers have. Looking at pictures online of what AMD looks like will reveal that right in the middle of one's vision is a large round black or gray mass of nothing, but on both sides of the mass are fairly normal images. Some macular degeneration aids seek to magnify the patient's vision, thus pushing expanding the missed part of the image beyond the black hole. For example, looking with regular eyesight, an AMD sufferer might see a body but not the head and face of someone, but when the image is expanded, the face jumps out of the blind spot and the person can then be recognized or seen.
Hand held magnifiers are available to aid in helping images jump out of the blind spot that age related macular degeneration sufferers. These can be carried in a purse or pocket and some of them have battery powered lights for night viewing. For some older folks, their hands shake too much for these handheld magnifiers to be of much help. In cases like this, macular degeneration aids such as stand mounted magnifiers are available. These might sit right next to a person who is sitting in a chair, or perhaps another one might sit nicely on a desk. They can usually magnify an object between one and a half and twenty times.
It's important to understand that in many cases, age related macular degeneration also causes fuzzier vision along the periphery of the sight field. Magnifiers can enlarge print on a page but there is a problem viewing objects from a distance such as signs or TV. Only when objects are moved quite closely to the eye from a distance can sight be enhanced, which is the goal of other macular degeneration aids, such as bioptic telescopes. For many AMD sufferers, a bioptic telescope mounted to regular glasses frames allows the sufferer to switch from regular vision to magnified vision through the telescope. This is often accomplished with some macular degeneration aids through just lowering the eyes slightly to view the telescope lens.
Because of the high tech advances in optical assistance, there are now video magnifiers that are actually closed circuit televisions that project magnified objects onto a screen. These macular degeneration aids are more expensive than most of the other ocular assisting devices heretofore mentioned, but they are helpful in doing certain activities where both hands are required. There are now reading machines that can turn reading material into spoken words for those who have AMD as well as talking clocks and watches and talking measuring cups, kitchen scales and other culinary aids. By the year 2020, it is estimated that twenty million people in the United States will have some form of this eye vision loss, with no cure or reversible treatment on the horizon. This means that a person should take especially good care of their eyesight passed the age of forty.