Macular degeneration refers to progressive damage of the macula, central part of the retina. A healthy macula provides crystal clear central vision. So, when the macula starts getting damaged, the central vision shows signs of deterioration. Although, this problem is observed in the elderly (above 65), smokers are prone to develop this eye problem in the early stages of their life.
Vitamins for Macular Degeneration
Aging eyes are susceptible to free radical damage but a proven way to keep eye problems at bay, even in old age is through intake of vitamins. They can be either taken through foods or in supplemental form.
Intake of vitamin A-rich foods can go a long way in preventing eye problems during old age. Vitamin A is basically a powerful antioxidant and can definitely protect the retina from this eye problem. The statement 'vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness' clearly reflects how important it is to include vitamin A in the diet.
Vitamin C can certainly play a very important role to maintain healthy vision. Vitamin C foods and supplements is a well-known remedy to slow down the progression of this eye disease.
This is yet another vitamin recommended for optimal eye health. Doctor often prescribe vitamin E supplements to prevent further deterioration of eyesight caused due to macular degeneration. Vitamin E can prevent free radical damage of the retina that occurs with age. Having vitamin E rich foods on a daily basis is beneficial to greatly minimize the chances of macular degeneration.
As this chronic eye problem is progressive, treatment involves preventing the disease from reaching to an advanced stage. Eyesight damage from this eye problem being irreversible, a healthy diet or supplements cannot restore normal eyesight, but can surely stop the progression of the disease. Generally, the doctor prescribes multivitamin supplements (tablets or capsules) as they contain all essential vitamins. Also, there are quite a few vitamin formulations sold under different brands such as 'VisiVite'. These formulations also include eyesight-promoting substances like zinc, selenium, lutein, and zeaxanthin. However, one has to consult a well qualified ophthalmologist to know about the exact dosage of these vitamin supplements.
One cannot forget that moderation is the key to reap benefits of vitamins. Too much intake of vitamins in the form of supplements can be harmful to the liver. However, smokers and those having alcohol on a regular basis, need to have vitamin dose that is slightly higher than the normal range. This is because smoking restricts the body's ability to absorb nutrients from food. On the other hand, those having healthy foods such as green vegetables, need not include vitamin supplements in their diet.
On the whole, an easy away to prevent the occurrence of macular degeneration is to diligently follow a healthy diet at a young age. Having foods rich in vitamins, regularly is the most effective way to keep the eyesight at its best, for years to come.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.