Macular Degeneration, Ageing eyes and are we taking enough supplements?
The facts don’t lie we are an ageing population! We are living in better health and for longer than we have ever done before. But what does this mean for our eyes?
Due to the shift in the population pyramids the prevalence of certain conditions have increased. Something that has been a hot topic in the media for the past few years has been macular degeneration. For those whom may not have heard of this it is a condition that causes a deterioration in the centre of the vision. This can vary from mildly distracting to a complete loss of the central vision. To confuse matters even more it often arises in two forms!
One is due to a collection of fluid/blood at the back of the eye, this is often treated at the hospital and tends to be relatively fast onset. It can often be characterised by a sudden distortion in vision i.e. things that should be straight don’t look straight or a sudden loss of central vision.
The second type is the one we would like to focus a little more on (as we feel we can help more). This is often a slow progressive build up of waste products in the central vision. This is because the membranes at the back of the eye can no longer remove the waste products from the light receptors as a result of oxidative stress and inflammation (or at least thats the current train of thought). This means the waste products build up and produce little “white spots” called drusen. These then stop the retinal cells from operating at there maximum potential and reduce or distort what we see. As these drusen increase they often stick together and further reduce the function.
It is believed there are many things that can contribute towards the formation of these drusen. These are factors such as age, genetics, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Now none of this is meant to be a scare tactic and don’t get me wrong some of us naturally show a little “wear and tear” at the back of the eyes like we do in any part of the body with age. But like any condition are we doing enough to help and give the body the things it needs to reduce the impact?
Personally I think most of us are not. There has been a great deal of research put into how nutritional supplements can be used to give our eyes the vitamins and anti-oxidants they require to give them the best chance of staying healthy! This extends beyond just having a healthy diet and protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays!
We have always used and supported a product called Nutrof Total and there is a reason it has been the best selling eye nutritional product in Europe. The company is based in Keele University and through research and development have created a once a day formula with a comprehensive array of vitamins and anti-oxidants to help maintain healthy eyes and normal vision. Now don’t get me wrong it may not completely stop the development of macular degeneration but the idea is to slow progression. It may also not reverse any current signs of it but the idea is to provide the eye with all the things it requires to give it the best chance of functioning at its optimum.
The ways in which we detect AMD vary and if you have any concerns at all about your vision please come in a book an eye examination with us. We always aim to stay as the forefront with our technology and so have invested deeply in to 3D optical coherence tomography scanners. These help us see the deeper layers of the retina and to visualise these drusen and their impact. This technology also enables us to track any subtle changes at the macular and address them as required.
There is loads to discuss about macular health and unfortunately we don’t have enough words to write it all down on here. Please feel free to book in for an eye examination with one of our senior optometrists and we will be more than happy to talk about any of your ocular concerns and what the best visual solution would be for you. We can also demonstrate just how our advanced eye examination gives us the best possible chance of picking up any ocular disease. Thanks for your time and if there is anything else we can do just give us a call.