Macular degeneration is the process where the macula, a part of the retina, is progressively destroyed. It is the part of the eye that is responsible for maintaining proper and normal vision. There are two forms. The atropic (dry) form causes the cells of the macula to accumulate sacs of debris which swell and block off circulation in the blood vessels that serve the macula. The exudative (wet) form causes the blood vessels to swell and leak fluid. Macular degeneration is caused by aging, atherosclerosis, environmental toxins, high blood pressure and smoking. There are herbal treatments which can help.
Herbal treatments help with macular degeneration by helping to stop the breakage of blood vessels, preserve nighttime vision and increase ability to see in bright light. Bilberry tablets increase production of rhodopsin, a pigment vital to night vision. Take 120 milligrams three times daily. Gingko tablets halt breakage of blood vessels and increase the supply of oxygen to the eye. Take 160 milligrams divided into two doses daily. Take either grapeseed or pinebark extract to reduce sensitivity to bright lights and glare. They also aid the macular tissue in adjusting to oxygen fluctuations. Take 200 milligrams daily. Choose one or the other, you do not need both as they have the same effect. Quercetin shields the macula from the effects of low oxygen levels. Take 150 milligrams three times a day between meals.
Do not use ginkgo if you are taking any blood-thinning medication. Do not use quercetin if you are taking Neoral, Sandimmune or Procardia.
Eat foods that contain the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin. These substances improve the health of the macula. Foods that contain them include spinach, corn, orange peppers, kiwi, grapes, summer squash, orange juice and egg yolks. Take 200 to 600 international units of vitamin E daily. It can repair early damage to the macula triggered by excessive exposure to sunlight. Zinc is a defense against toxic-free radicals. Take 30 milligrams daily. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.