What is Macular Degeneration?

The macula is the central part of your retina that helps you see best.

Macular degeneration is an age-related condition that affects the central retina or macula.  As it progresses, you can lose the central part of your vision.  Your peripheral vision is usually unaffected by macular degeneration.  If your peripheral vision is affected, you could have glaucoma, a retinal detachment, a stroke or another cause.

The main risk factors related to macular degeneration are: (1) smoking, (2) age over 50 years old, (3) family history and genetics, (4) race (more common in Caucasians).

There are three main types of macular degeneration:

  1. Dry (or nonexudative) macular degeneration
  2. Wet (or exudative) macular degeneration
  3. Geographic atrophy  type of macular degeneration

How does my eye doctor check me for Macular degeneration?

  1. Vision on the eye chart
  2. Dilated eye exam
  3. Amsler grid test
  4. OCT – Optical coherence tomography
  5. Fluorescein angiogram (if needed)

How is macular degeneration treated?

If you have dry macular degeneration, AREDS vitamins are recommended (see below for more information).

If you have wet macular degeneration, there are intraocular injections and laser treatments that can help prevent progression and usually recover some of your vision.

If you have lost vision due to macular degeneration, consider a low vision specialist consultation.

Supplements and Macular Degeneration

(For Informational Purposes only – see disclaimer at bottom of page)

NIH Recommendations (AREDS 2 Vitamins):

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 25 mg zinc as zinc oxide
  • 2 mg copper as cupric oxide
  • 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin

What brand of vitamins should I get? There are many on the market.

I (Dr. Pradhan) recommend the PRN brand of macular vitamins because they also have a full B-complex of vitamins which is beneficial to your eyes.  You can fill out the PRN referral form with Recommendation Made for “AMD” selected and the company will call you and spend time to educate you more about the vitamins.  It will also keep me updated on your intake and give us credit for educating you and leading you to the company’s pure quality vitamins.  You can also consider the the Macular Benefits Package which gives you double the dose of lutein and zeaxanthin as well as your daily serving of omega-3s for heart and eye health!

It has not been studied whether more Lutein is beneficial than the amount listed above. Please make sure you are getting the minimum amounts per day that is recommended by the NIH if you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Please visit the NIH Website.

Disclaimer: The information and reference materials provided are intended solely for the general informational purposes only. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

What is Macular Degeneration? EyeSmart Website
What is Macular Degeneration? NIH Website
Where are we today regarding Macular Degeneration Research?
American Macular Degeneration Foundation