Dry macular degeneration treatment can be complicated. The condition is a common eye disorder that generally affects people over the age of 65. The macula is the part of the eye responsible for clear vision directly in your line of site. Therefore, degeneration or deterioration of the macula can lead to blurry or reduced central vision.
It can affect one or both eyes and can even worsen vision over time. Having the inability to see clearly can affect your ability to read, drive, or recognize faces. Most people with dry macular degeneration don’t lose all of their sight, but instead, their sight is severely compromised. The condition only affects central vision while sparing peripheral vision.
Knowing what the best dry macular degeneration treatments can give you the tools to better preserve your vision.
Treating dry macular degeneration
The unfortunate reality of dry macular degeneration is that it cannot be reversed. Symptoms develop gradually over time, with the user not realizing that they have vision problems until much later in the course of the condition. If caught early, treatment can be initiated before significant levels of vision loss occur. The following are some of the most common treatment methodologies.
- Vitamin intake: Certain vitamins are known for improving symptoms of dry macular degeneration. In some cases, they help to slow down progression as well. Zinc supplementation helps in this regard. Vitamins rich in anti-oxidants such as A, C, and E are also beneficial.
- Beta-carotene: A commonly promoted attribute of carrots, beta-carotene can also be useful for promoting eye health. However, beta-carotene supplementation is thought to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers while increasing the risk of coronary artery disease.
- Healthy lifestyle: Eating a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables can help not only promote overall health but also maintain your vision.
- Surgery: Selected individuals with significant vision impairment in both eyes may require this form of treatment. Surgically implanting a telescopic lens into the eye can help magnify field of vision. This surgery can help improve both distance and close-up vision but has a very narrow field of view.
Home remedies for dry macular degeneration
Your lifestyle can play an important role in the progression of dry macular degeneration. By making simple changes to your daily routine, you can give yourself the best chances for slowing down vision loss. Most of the home remedies recommended act as preventative measures to help you keep your sight as long as possible.
Don’t smoke: Smoking is considered a risk factor for dry macular degeneration development, so by quitting the habit, you’re helping preserve your vision further. If quitting smoking is too difficult, speak with your doctor to get some help.
Choose a healthy diet: Foods that contain antioxidants help to prevent damage to the sensitive structures in the eye. Several fruits and vegetables help to protect eye health. Some of these foods include kale, spinach, broccoli, and peas. These foods contain lutein and zeaxanthin—types of antioxidants that may benefit people with macular degeneration.
Foods with high zinc content may also help preserve vision. These include high protein foods such as beef, pork, and lamb. Non-meat sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, whole grain cereals, and whole wheat bread.
Studies have shown that food with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, and walnuts may lower the risk of advanced macular degeneration. However, this correlation was not seen when taking omega-3 supplements.
Manage other medical conditions: Having high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease can accelerate the progression of macular degeneration if not properly managed. It is recommended to control these conditions with prescribed medications to help slow down macular degeneration progression.
Exercise regularly: Getting exercise on a regular basis helps to slow down macular degeneration and keep the body healthy. Losing excess pounds also helps.
Get routine eye exams: There is no better way to determine if something is wrong with your vision then to test them, and the most qualified person to assess your eyes would be an eye doctor or ophthalmologist. By going to your eye doctor on a regular basis, you can be sure that if macular degeneration were to begin, you would catch it at the earliest stage possible.
Vitamin supplementation: Patients with intermediate or advanced macular degeneration taking a high-dose formulation of antioxidants can help reduce the risk of vision loss. Unfortunately, those in early stages of the condition do not benefit from these supplements. The following vitamins and dosages are recommended:
- Vitamin C – 500mg
- Vitamin E – 400IU (international units)
- Lutein – 10 mg
- Zeaxanthin – 2 mg
- Zinc (as zinc oxide) – 25 or 80 mg
- Copper (as cupric oxide) – 2 mg