The Information On Macular Supplements

By Ryan Watson

Age-related macular degeneration (MD), also referred to as AMD, is a form of vision loss and affects the macula part of the eye or eyes. It is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in most western countries. Usually affecting people aged 65 or above, this is a more serious eye condition than some other complaints and eye conditions. But with macular supplements, the patients have somewhere to get help.

ARMD sometimes begins with a build-up of cellular waste products in the cone cells called drusen. Also, there may be a change in the amount of pigmentation in the cell (like the "age-spots" on our skin with aging). This is referred to as "Dry ARMD". Over time vision slowly worsens and over many years may lead to significant vision problems.

Risk factors include a family history, old age and a specific gene that greatly increases the danger of acquiring the disease. MD symptoms include blurred vision, distorted vision, inability to identify certain color variations, and lack of contrast sensitivity.

Although anyone can have it, ARMD occurs most often in Caucasian females over age 65. Smoking increases the risk 6 times and living with a smoker doubles your risk. Being overweight also can double your risk. Another big risk factor is the excessive light exposure that surfers, sailors, farm workers, etc are exposed to.

There are two forms of the condition. The first type, dry MD, accounts for the majority of cases. It is usually noticed at an eye exam, as early stages do not normally produce symptoms. When an eye doctor spots yellow flecks beneath your retina, which is an indication of "drusen" deposits, the first warning sign of the disease. The doctor will further examine the deposits' size, as not all instances guarantee MD.

The wet form of MD is due to the excess accumulation of blood vessels growing behind the retina. This type can be treated with drugs or laser, reversing the development of the blood vessels that cause this variant of the illness.

There are now vigorous measures being taken to deal with this problem by using such devices as larger glasses or bifocals; in fact, many recent computer systems have included an MD-friendly program known as JAWS, which makes it much easier for the person with MD to see more clearly. Some vision experts also suggest patients begin a regimen of specific vitamins that can help to strengthen vision and avoid further damage.

This eye condition mainly affects those 60 years of age and up. It has been estimated that approximately 10% of people from 66 to 74, for instance, will discover they have the above eye condition. With those between the ages of 75 to 85, the rate can be even higher. People suffering from MD symptoms, or the disease, often have small yellowish spots on their macular. It is still unknown whether these spots are merely cholesterol deposits or perhaps the effect of taking cholesterol-lowering medications.

Lifestyle choices also play a part, and smoking is way up there as a well-known cause of all types of MD. Obesity can be another contributing factor. If you have been exposed to lots of sunlight, through your career or perhaps you live nearer the equator then this puts you in a higher risk category also.

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