There is a silent epidemic of blindness which is gradually sweeping over aging Americans. This common blindness is being caused by what is known as macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is now the #1 most common cause of blindness in adults. In fact, one in ten folks over age 60 has already unknowingly started the changes of early macular degeneration.
The macula is in the center of the retina (the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eyeball). It deteriorates in a variety of ways. There are two types of macular degeneration. One type is called dry macular degeneration which is more common and less severe. The other type is called wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration is generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the region of the macula creating scar tissue while dry macular degeneration is a steady deterioration or rotting away of the back of the eyeball.
Considering the wealth of information on clinically documented cures for this disease it baffles me why so many ophthalmologists are clueless about the causes and cures of this eye disease. You wonder how a person who specializes in one tiny organ, the eyeball, can fail to want to know everything there is to know about it.
So what are the causes?
As people get older and get macular degeneration or other eye problems their levels of two nutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin go down, as opposed to folks who keep healthful levels in their eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids from our foods that are present in the highest concentration in the retina. There is no other place in the body where concentration is higher.
Spinach is a wonderful source of lutein as well as eating a lot of dark green leafy vegetables. Over 70% of our patients with macular degeneration who’ve followed this advice along with supplementation have improved their vision in 71%.
It shocks me that with the most expensive and high-tech medical system on the planet, more ophthalmologists don’t do the obvious and that is to check the nutritional status of their patients. Doing so would reduce the cases of macular degeneration substantially. As with most things that challenge one’s health, the earlier it is attacked, the better the results.
The bottom line?
Don’t procrastinate! Get tested if you suspect any type of eye disease developing. Vision is priceless! So is the ability to experience “the best performance of your life!”
- Richer S, et at, Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST Study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial), Optometry 75:216-30, 2004
- Rogers Sherry, Total Wellness, Prestige Publishing, December 2010
- Ma L, Yan SF, Huang YM, Lu XR, Qian F, Pang HL, Xu XR, Zou ZY, Dong PC, Xiao X, Wang X, Sun TT, Dou HL, Lin XM. Effect of lutein and zeaxanthin on macular pigment and visual function in patients with early age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmology. 2012 Nov;119(11):2290-7.
- Weigert G, Kaya S, Pemp B, Sacu S, Lasta M, Werkmeister RM, Dragostinoff N, Simader C, Garhöfer G, Schmidt-Erfurth U, Schmetterer L. Effects of lutein supplementation on macular pigment optical density and visual acuity in patients with age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Oct 17;52
- Murray IJ, Makridaki M, van der Veen RL, Carden D, Parry NR, Berendschot TT. Lutein supplementation over a one-year period in early AMD might have a mild beneficial effect on visual acuity: the CLEAR study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Mar 11;54(3)
- Carpentier S, Knaus M, Suh M. Associations between lutein, zeaxanthin, and age-related macular degeneration: an overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Apr;49(4):313-26. Falsini B, et at, Influence of short-term antioxidant supplementation on macular function in age-related maculopathy: a pilot study including electrophysiologic assessment, Ophthalmology 110:51-61, 2003
- Richer S, ARMD-pilot (case series) and environmental intervention data, J Am Optom Assoc 70:24-6, 1999
- Gaby AR, Nutritional Medicine, Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord NH, 2011 Pelton R, et at, Drug-Induced Nutrients Completion Handbook, 2″d Ed, 1-877¬836-5394, 2001