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  • It's never too early to protect yourself against age-related macular degenertation

It's never too early to protect yourself against age-related macular degenertation

A sight for sore eyes

Time is not on your side when it comes to protecting your sight. Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), remains the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 50. The unfortunate truth is that many younger adults choose not to “see” that far in the future. You may believe ARMD will not happen to you. You may consider ARMD a far off risk that can be addressed once you reach retirement age.

Would it surprise you to know that adults are suffering from age-related macular degeneration at a younger and younger age? Some ARMD sufferers are as young as 20. ARMD is responsible for roughly 5 per cent of blindness around the world. The condition continues to progress; up to 196 million people may suffer from age-related macular degeneration by the year 2020. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness describes the condition as: ‘the third most important cause of blindness in the world and the leading cause of blindness in higher income countries with ageing populations.

Protect yourself against macular degeneration


One of the main causes of age-related macular degeneration is an increased amount of free radical damage inflicted on the human body. Free radicals can be found anywhere. You may find them in sun exposure, unnatural foods, pollution and environmental toxins. To make matters worse, the Western diet is sorely lacking in antioxidants needed to protect our delicate eyes against disease.

Powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, when consumed in ample amounts, can protect your eyes from degeneration. As free radicals attack your healthy eyes again and again, the macula becomes damaged. The macula is a small part of the eye that controls central vision. Small and mighty, the macula provides you with the ability to see crisp detail and vivid colours. A deteriorated macula resulting in ARMD may start in one eye and will soon affect the other eye, in many cases.

Age related macular degeneration may be broken down into two categories:

1. Dry: The most common type of ARMD may develop slowly and will ultimately cause a loss of central vision, in 95 per cent of cases. The good news is that dry ARMD is largely reliant on nutrition and lifestyle factors. It is possible to stop and reverse dry ARMD with an anti-inflammatory diet and eye-healthy nutrients.

2. Wet: Weak, malnourished blood vessels will result in wet ARMD. These deteriorating vessels are found behind the retina and will soon leak into the macula. Wet ARMD is less common than dry ARMD, but it will result in a rapid loss of vision. It is harder to achieve full recovery for wet ARMD, though damage can be minimised with the right lifestyle choices.


ARMD described as a medical condition sounds complex, when the treatment really is simple. The problem has already been pinpointed as a lack of antioxidants in the diet. Many physicians agree. According to Macular Degeneration International, patients with ARMD may be told that there is no treatment available to reverse or halt the condition. Patients may be ‘encouraged’ to take antioxidant vitamins at a bare minimum. While antioxidant intake is essential, targeted antioxidant use is key. Taking a run-of-the-mill antioxidant vitamin isn’t going to improve or stop vision loss. Understanding which critical nutrients your eyes need to protect and restore sight can greatly reduce the risk of blindness.

Two specific nutrients are responsible for protecting the macula from degeneration:

1. Lutein: Lutein is not made by your body. This powerful carotenoid must be gleaned in food and nutritional supplements to prevent permanent vision loss. An anti- inflammatory diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables provides a foundation for healthy vision at any age. Up to 14 portions of fresh or frozen vegetables a day are recommended. Along with that, a daily Lutein supplement can support eye, brain and full-body health.

2. Zeaxanthin: Like Lutein, Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant found in most fruits and vegetables; antioxidant levels are especially high in green, leafy vegetables. Zeaxanthin works alongside Lutein to maintain the structural integrity of blood vessels that supply the macula to protect against photo-oxidation. Zeaxanthin in the diet and in supplement form is highly recommended.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are undeniably important to eye health. These potent antioxidants are known to be missing in sufferers of ARMD. In a review of more than 25 epidemiological studies that examined the dietary intake of carotenoids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin were found to be inversely associated with age related macular degeneration.

Taurine can help too, as it strengthens the cell walls and helps to remove detritus from the retina. Taurine is also one of the most abundant amino acids required by the eye for good health.1

Alongside essential nutrient support, electro-acupressure can be used to restore the health of the eyes. There are a number of factors that contribute to ARMD. One of the most common triggers, after free radical damage, is a lack of circulation associated with age.

In order for the macula to function in optimal health with crystal-clear vision, proper nutrients, oxygen, and detoxification are needed. Low circulation reduces antioxidant and oxygen supply to the eyes. This process will soon result in vision dysfunction and long-term degeneration.

Electro-acupressure micro-current stimulation is an exciting new technology that can be used to treat macular degeneration. For both wet and dry ARMD, early clinical trials have shown up to a 70 per cent improvement in vision.2 Electro- acupressure therapy can stimulate the retina and degenerated macula using well-mapped acupressure points on the body. When used with antioxidant nutritional supplements, hope for recovery is available. Vision loss is not a natural part of the ageing process and doesn’t have to be accepted as one.



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1. Heinämäki, A. A., Muhonen, A. S. and Piha, R. S. (1986) Taurine and other free amino acids in the retina, vitreous, lens, iris-ciliary body, and cornea of the rat eye. Neurochem Res. 11 pp. 535–42.