Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a painless, degenerative eye disease that affects more than 10 million Americans. It is the leading cause of legal blindness in persons over the age of 55 in the United States. While complete blindness does not occur in most people with the disorder, macular degeneration often interferes with reading, driving, or performing other daily activities.

There are two forms of macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration affects about 90% of those with the disease and causes gradual loss of central vision, initially only in one eye. Wet macular degeneration, which accounts for 90% of all severe vision loss from the disease, involves a very sudden loss of central vision.

Signs and Symptoms

Macular degeneration is accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Slightly blurred vision
  • Dry type: a blurred spot in the central field of vision, which may become larger and darker
  • Wet type: straight lines that appear wavy and the rapid loss of central vision; sometimes, wet macular degeneration starts with a sudden blind spot


What Causes It?

Dry macular degeneration occurs from the breakdown of the light sensitive cells in the center of the retina, called the macula. Wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels behind the retina grow toward the macula and leak blood and fluid.


Who's Most At Risk?

People with the following conditions or characteristics are at risk for developing macular degeneration:

  • Age-the risk increases with age
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of macular degeneration
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Elevated levels of cholesterol
  • Light eye color
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight



Antioxidants that protect your retina-such as carotenoids, selenium, zinc, and vitamins C and E-may either delay the progression of macular degeneration if you already have the eye condition (meaning that your vision won't get worse as quickly) or prevent the development of this serious eye disorder. Two particular carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, may be particularly beneficial. Antioxidants can be obtained from foods or supplements.

Eating a diet high in vitamins C and E and carotenoids is likely all that you need to lower your chances of developing macular degeneration in the first place. (In other words, supplements are probably not necessary for prevention.) Vegetables rich in carotene include orange and yellow squash, and dark, leafy greens, such as kale, collards, spinach, and watercress.


Suggested Nutritional Supplementation


  • Appropriate Wellness EssentialsTM formula - 1-2 packets daily

Key Vitamins & Minerals, Essential Fatty Acids, PLUS Patient Specific Nutrition.

  • Visio PlexTM - 8 capsules daily with food in divided doses

Nutrients and Herbs to Nourish the Eyes

  • Lutein - 1 to 2 capsules twice daily

A Naturally Occurring Carotenoid


Dietary Suggestions

  • FirstLine Therapy® Diet
This nutrition reference guide is an overview of common illnesses and their nutritional protocols to help the healthcare professional meet this challange successfully.

The statements on this book have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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