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Natural Supplements to Improve Eye Health
Macular Degereration is actually the leading cause of blindness in the US for those over 55 years of age. Cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness worldwide, but in the USA Cataract surgery is common and usually (barring no complications) restores vision well. Macular Degeneration (AMD) on the other hand is an incurable eye disease that causes the central portion of the retina to deteriorate. This central portion is known as the macula, and with loss of vision in this area, your ability to focus, read, drive a car, or see details of faces and objects will diminish.
AMD is most common in older people, and with white women in particular. It appears to run in families, and a link between two different genes and AMD seems to exist. Studies have shown an increased risk with cigarette smoking, and obesity can double the risk of severe AMD. Poorly controlled hypertension may also be a risk factor, and some studies have suggested lighter eye color may increase the risk.
Types of Macular Degeneration (AMD):
Two basic types of AMD exist, known as "Dry" AMD and "Wet" AMD. the vast majority(90%) of AMD is the "dry" kind. It is usually the type of degeneration that is age-related and there is no leakage of blood or serum into the central retina. Instead, there are deposits of a yellow material know as drusen that form under the macula. The macula then thins and dries out and does not function properly. This causes central vision loss, the extent of vision loss depending on where and how much drusen has been deposited. Most people over the age of 55 will have some drusen deposits, but with aging and if the deposits grow there will be a risk of vision loss from AMD.
The "wet" type of AMD accounts for about 10 - 15% of all cases of AMD. This type is quite different and is caused when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and macula. These abnormal vessels to to leak fluid or blood distorting the macula and causing loss of central vision. Although less common, this type of AMD can progress a lot faster and be more severe.
There is no cure for AMD. In 2000 a photodynamic laser therapy was approved for certain types of "wet" AMD. This treatment helps slow the loss of vision. Not all types of wet AMD are suitable for this theray, however. Since 2006 the FDA has approved two certain types of drugs used for cancer treatment that can be injected directly into the eye. This stops the growth of blood vessels that leak and cause "wet" AMD. Studies for other forms of therapy are underway.
Unfortunately there are no approved treatmens for the dry form of AMD. A study from the National Eye Institute has shown there is good evidence that certain nutrients, such as Vitamin A (beta carotene), Vitamin C and E may help prevent or slow down the progression of dry macular degeneration.
Nutrition As A Prevention:
Many different researchers and eyecare specialists believe that certain nutritional supplements will help lower the risk of macular degeneration and slow down the rate of progression if you have it. Fortunately, Unicity offers Vision Essentials, a formula based on the National Institute of Health Studies (AREDS I & AREDS II) with Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc, Beta-carotenes, lutein, berry blend, and zeaxanthin in it's advance eye care formula. Unicity's Vision Essentials provides all the nutrients needed to prevent AMD.
Why take the risk of developing AMD. Why not do what we can to prevent AMD, and if you have it, do what you can to slow further progression. Clinical studies have shown that patients taking Vision Essentials over a period of time showed good improvements in their vision as measured by visual acuity, recovery time after a light flash, and contrast sensitivity. Vision Essentials is a well balanced formula for the support of healthy eyes and vision and its formula follows the guidelines of the AREDS II study.