Macular Degeneration Alternative Medicine

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common vision disorder. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it affects more than 10 million Americans and is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. This condition affects the macula, a part of the retina involved in central vision. It results in blurred vision or a blind spot in the middle of your vision. Natural treatment strategies that help slow AMD’s progression are available, although there is no cure. Consult with a health care provider experienced in treating this condition naturally.

Supplementation

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies indicate a combination of antioxidants along with zinc slow the advancement of intermediate macular degeneration to an advanced stage, where vision loss is most prominent. Unfortunately, this treatment did not prevent the early stages of the disease from getting worse. Take the following nutrients daily: vitamin C (500 mg), vitamin E( 400 IU), beta carotene (15 mg), zinc (80 mg) and copper (2 mg). The formula Ocuvite Preservision contains all of these in the proper dosages.

Lutein, an antioxidant that provides plants with their orange, yellow and red color, protects beneficial enzymes in the eye and protects the macula from light damage. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies show people taking this supplement versus a placebo experienced less vision loss. Ask your doctor about an appropriate dosage. Zeaxanthin is another antioxidant known for its beneficial affects on eye health and is found in the same yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. Discuss an appropriate dosage with your doctor.

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Herbal Therapy

Ginkgo has been proven to slow vision loss in people with AMD. Researchers believe the flavonoids in this herb account for this benefit. Take 160 to 240 mg daily. This herb has blood-thinning properties, so take it under the supervision of your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medications like Warfarin.

Bilberry, traditionally used to treat eye problems, and grape seed contain similar flavonoids as ginkgo, so in theory they might be beneficial as well. No studies however, have been conducted specifically dealing with AMD. Take 120 to 240 mg twice a day and 50 to 150 mg once a day respectively.

Diet

Eat a diet low in saturated fat; saturated fat causes plaque buildup on the vessel walls and interferes with proper blood flow to various parts of the body, including the eye. Saturated fats are found in meat, other animal products like dairy and margarine. Eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables of all colors. Yellow, red and orange plants as well as leafy greens are high in lutein and xanathin, two of the most beneficial antioxidants. You can get lots of vitamin E from soy, fish, wheat germ, nuts and seeds. Citrus fruits, potatoes and broccoli are rich in vitamin C.