Macular Degeneration is a loss of central vision, possibly due to vascular changes in the eye, which cause degeneration of the macular disc. Accumulation of metabolic wastes is also a major contributor to the presentation
of AMD. AMD is a major cause of blindness and vision loss in the developed world, especially as the population continues to age.
The two types of AMD are dry and wet.
is caused when cellular debris builds up between the front internal layers of the eye, causing cellular atrophy and eventually blurred vision and in some cases retinal detachment.
is a combination of dry AMD and also abnormal blood vessel growth from behind the retina. These blood vessels can leak fluid and blood into the retina, which causes damage to the tissues and may scar. Once scarring has occurred the damage cannot be reversed.
Risk factors for AMD include:
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Race –
- Family history
- Saturated fat intake
- High GI food intake
A low GI diet reduces the progression of AMD, as high GI sugary foods increase oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is highly inflammatory in the body, and increases the rate of degeneration and cellular inflammation. Therefore in treating AMD, high dose specific antioxidants and a wholefoods diet may be highly beneficial in slowing degeneration.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are also very beneficial, due to their anti-inflammatory benefits and their role in cellular structure. Saturated fats on the other hand cause a large amount of oxidative stress and inflammation, and also play a role in high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol can cause fat deposits in the retina, which may be partially responsible for AMD and its progression. Incorporating a good quality high EPA fish oil supplement into your daily diet is a great way to protect your eyes and possibly slow AMD progression.
Please speak to your Naturopath about your natural treatment options and for further information.