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February is AMD Awareness Month

February is AMD Awareness Month. Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal degenerative disease that causes progressive loss of central vision. The risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age and is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of fifty-five. The disease is quite common in older white Americans, affecting more than 14 percent of white Americans age 80 and older.

Studies have shown that a diet (or supplement) containing quality omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin leads to an increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Higher MPOD helps reduce glare by absorbing blue light, increases vision and contrast sensitivity, and decreases chromatic aberrations. These positive changes to MPOD improve one’s nighttime vision (i.e. night driving) in young healthy eyes, and especially in the eyes of older adults. Addition of these nutrients has also shown to help in preventing AMD in preliminary studies. In addition, there is also evidence that processed foods play a role in the development of AMD, especially hydrogenated fats. Unfortunately, these fats are found in nearly all or most processed foods. A steady diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are known to decrease your risk of developing AMD, so shop on the edges of your grocery store!

Our office carries the supplements MacuHealth (lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin), Nordic Naturals Pro Omega (high concentration omega-3 fish oil), and ProDHA Eye (omega-3, lutein, and zeaxanthin) for those who can’t or won’t eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables. Stop in or call today!