Curing and Preventing Macular Degeneration of the Eye14 years, 7 months ago
Posted on Aug 09, 2004, 1 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
The Search for the Holy Grail of Curing Macular DegenerationVeterans Affairs Eye Doctor Says Study Demonstrates Possible Value of Lutein For Macular DegenerationThe blue of the ocean, the red of a rose, the smile of a baby. Who can put a price tag on the precious gift of being able to see these wonders of life.
In 2001 scientists at Johns Hopkins released the AREDS study that said that a combination of minerals and vitamins known as AREDS might help put the brakes on macular degeneration. Some went so far as to say If all the people at risk for macular degeneration took the vitamin supplements used in the earlier study, more than 300,000 of them would avoid advanced macular degeneration and any associated vision loss during the next five years, the study found. Read Daily Vitamins Could Prevent Vision Loss Among Thousands, Researchers Say and see The AREDS Formulation below.
Two Forms of Macular DegenerationThere are two forms of macular degeneration. In people with the dry form of macular degeneration the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. In the wet form of macular degeneration "abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye." Read this incredibly excellent document Age-Related Macular Degeneration: What You Should Know from the National Eye Institute of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The AREDS FormulationIn the year 2001, scientists in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group reported a reduced risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration and its associated vision loss...... for study participants who were assigned to high-dose supplementation with antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene) plus zinc as zinc oxide or zinc alone".
In a report in the Archives of Ophthalmology scientists at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore estimated that there are 8 million Americans at least 55 years old who are thought to be at high risk for macular degeneration. If all the people at risk for macular degeneration took the vitamin supplements used in the earlier study, more than 300,000 of them would avoid advanced macular degeneration and any associated vision loss during the next five years, the study found. Read Daily Vitamins Could Prevent Vision Loss Among Thousands, Researchers Say