Last Modified on Jun 20, 2014
Macular degeneration treatments focus on supporting overall health via supplements and dietary additions. Regular doses of specific nutrients fortify the eyes and prevent further deterioration. Nutrients are often best absorbed via food intake; however, supplements often make up for a lack of dietary absorption.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration involves the deterioration of the macula. Located at the center of the retina, the macula is a light-sensitive layer responsible for controlling central or straight-ahead vision. With age and lifestyle choices, deterioration of this part of the eye occurs.
While the precise cause of deterioration is not known, several risk factors have been identified. Age is one of the largest determining factors concerning macular degeneration; however, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, a high fat diet and lack of exercise may also contribute to the condition. Early symptoms of the condition include blurred vision, the need for additional light when reading, inability to recognize individual’s until very close and the presence of a blurred spot in the center of the vision.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements for Treating Deterioration of the Macula
At this point, no actual cure for macular degeneration has been identified. Nonetheless, several supplements are particularly effective for treating the condition. Lutein, saffron and fish oil are three dietary supplements that have been shown to stop deterioration and even reverse vision problems. Additionally, avoiding turmeric may be important for individuals with macular degeneration, as the supplement may cause eye sensitivity.
Lutein is considered a carotenoid vitamin and is related to vitamin A as well as beta-carotene. This vitamin possesses a high concentration of carotenoids, which function to filter light and protect the eye tissues. These properties enable it to counteract the deterioration of the eye associated with degeneration of the macula and other parts of the eye.
Saffron is a plant from which the saffron spice is made. Used for treating a variety of health conditions, saffron is also used to improve the function of the retina. Like lutein, saffron is very high in carotenoids, so it functions to protect and fortify the eyes.
Fish oil is most often derived from mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut, salmon and cod liver. High in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supports eye health as well as lowering individuals’ risk of heart disease and stroke.
Macular degeneration is a fairly common eye condition, particularly for the aging population. However, with proper diet, nutrition and nutritional supplements, the condition can be slowed and even reversed.
My Mom suffers from macular degeneration. She can't take nsaids because of that, but she thought it would be OK to take turmeric for her allergies. 4 days after she started she had an eye bleed & is now blind in that eye. I can't remember exactly what she said, but the reason turmeric works for allergies is because it does something to your blood. Be aware.
Re Fernando from Hamilton blog 0l/23/2008: I wish to add a few cautions re the list of supplements for macular degeneration and caution people with certain health problems to always do further research and also seek advice of a naturopathic doctor prior to taking supplements - cancer patients should not take Vitamin E; smokers/ex-smokers should not take beta-carotene; nor should anyone on blood thinner medication be taking vitamin E.