How to Protect Your Vision from Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What is Age-Related Macula Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a hereditary condition that progressively impacts the central part of the retina known as the macula over the age of 50. A build up of tiny, yellow deposits called drusen progressively damages the macula resulting in difficulties with central vision but spares peripheral vision. In the most advanced forms of AMD, central vision can be lost making it difficult to see and recognize faces, to read, drive, cook and perform normal household tasks.

Early AMD onset is first detected on exam with the development of drusen that form under the macula. As drusen progressively grow in size and number the stage of Dry AMD progresses to intermediate AMD. Symptoms may or may not be present but can include difficultly with close up or night vision. 

Advanced dry AMD develops when cells in your macula break down forming Geographic Atrophy (GA) and result in a blurred spot. As GA progressively enlarges and darkens it can rob you of your central vision but spares your peripheral abulatory vision.

How is AMD treated

AMD can be treated with supplements and lifestyle modification to slow vision loss; however, no cure for AMD exists.

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 was a very large research study that evaluated taking high dose vitamins and minerals daily for AMD. It revealed that AREDS2 oral vitamin supplementation could slow disease progression and help to preserve vision with intermediate to advance/late dry AMD and lower the risk of conversion to Wet AMD. AREDS2 supplements do not prevent AMD onset nor do they prevent early AMD from developing into intermediate AMD.

AREDS2 Ingredients

Amount in AREDS 2

Vitamin C

500 milligrams (mg)

Vitamin E

400 International Units (IU)

Copper (cupric oxide)

2 mg


80 mg




10 mg


2 mg

Multi-vitamins nor diet alone cannot provide the same level of anti oxidants found in AREDS2 formulas. You can use both AREDS2 supplement and a multi-vitamin if advised by your doctor. Diets rich in green, leafy vegetables; colorful fuits/vegetables; and fish rich in antioxidants and can help to lower risk of developing AMD. Lastly, avoidance of tobacco products and maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol can help to minimize AMD progression.

Have more questions?  Call our office for an appointment to discuss with one of our physicians.

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