Have you ever wondered what supplements are available to help improve your eyesight? And are there any that can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration? Eye supplements help improve vision. Learn how to tell which one is best for you.
Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive loss of central vision. AMD affects the macula, the part of the retina that provides sharp, clear central vision. As the macula becomes damaged, it causes blurriness or blind spots in the centre of your field of vision.
Macular degeneration develops gradually and painlessly. It doesn’t cause total blindness. It does make it difficult to read, see faces, or drive, even though you may still have peripheral vision.
There are two forms of AMD — wet and dry:
Dry age-related macular degeneration accounts for about 90 per cent of all cases of AMD. Dry AMD happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye(s). As dry AMD gets worse, you may see a blurred spot in the centre of your vision. Over time, as less of the macula functions, you may lose all central vision in that eye.
There’s no cure for macular degeneration, but there are several ways to slow its progress. Some treatments can help preserve your sight and prevent further vision loss. The three leading nutritional supplements recommended for AMD are lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids), omega 3 fatty acids, and zinc with copper.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the macula of the eye. They act as antioxidants and help filter out potentially harmful blue light.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also important for maintaining good eye health. They’re often sourced from fish oil and can help reduce inflammation that could contribute to age-related vision loss.
Zinc with copper is a common ingredient in eye supplements, as studies have linked it to improved vision over time. It may also help reduce inflammation and protect against some forms of blindness.
Supplements can play an important role in delaying the onset of age-related macular degeneration, but it’s a complex problem that needs a more holistic approach to combat. There are no “magic powders” that will solve the problem, but there are supplements and diets that can have an impact on delaying progression.