AMD

macular pigment
Macular pigment can help with eye strain caused by use of computers and smartphones.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Do carrots boost your eyesight? Scientific American published an article that puts an end to the debate. 

What was their conclusion? Carrots are rich in the carotenoid beta-carotene; the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which can improve your vision under certain conditions, such as a vitamin A deficiency. And while vitamin A is vital to prevent blindness and maintain the health of the cornea (the clear front of the eye), there isn’t a definite answer on how many carrots it would take to improve one’s vision.

But other vegetables are shown to boost eyesight because of the nutrients they contain. Broccoli, corn, squash and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These are two of the three carotenoids deposited in the central retina (called the “macula”), where they accumulate to form the macular pigment. These nutrients have a yellow-orange coloration that enables it to filter potentially harmful blue light.

They also protect against oxidative stress and inflammation and enhance visual performance. The macula is the part of the eye responsible for central vision, which most people consider to be the most vital aspect of your sight. It allows you to see fine detail, recognize faces, and read this text! Indeed, the central retina brings color and detail to everything you see.

How do you increase macular pigment? Is eating vegetables enough to replenish this small but vital substance in the eye? We’ll take a closer look at how to put more carotenoids in our diet.

What Do Lutein and Zeaxanthin Do?

As noted above, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are dietary carotenoids that filter damaging high-energy blue wavelength light from the visible-light spectrum by as much as 90 percent. They’re also antioxidants that protect against the damage caused by free radicals produced through normal body processes. Environmental sources of free radicals include cigarette smoke, air pollutants, radiation, certain drugs and environmental toxins.

How do you increase macular pigment with these carotenoids? In a 1994 Journal of American Medical Association report, Dr. Johanna M. Seddon and her associates at Harvard University found that six mg per day of lutein over the lifespan leads to a 43 percent lower risk for AMD.

 

“When we compared the amount of macular pigment, which is comprised of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, present in the eyes of people with age-related macular degeneration to people without the disease, those with the lowest levels of carotenoid accumulation in the outer retina were significantly more likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration than those with higher pigment levels,” said Dr. Landrum. “The difference in risk between those having the highest and lowest levels was 75 percent.”

But Isn't There A Third Macular Carotenoid?

Meso-Zeaxanthin, the most potent antioxidant of the three macular carotenoids, is only found in the center of the macula, where vision is the sharpest. How do you increase macular pigment with Meso-Zeaxanthin? It’s obtained by an enzyme that converts ingested Lutein inside the retina. Most AMD patients have 30 percent less Meso-Zeaxanthin in their macula and are unable to convert Lutein into Meso-Zeaxanthin. To be sure you’ve got enough of all three macular carotenoids, a supplement containing all three is optimal.

Who Benefits from Enriching Macular Pigment?

Nearly everyone will benefit from enriching and maximizing macular pigment throughout their lifetime. Our diets are generally lower in nutrients, and modern technology has dictated that we’re exposed to more blue light. Although everyone can benefit from enriching macular pigment, the following people will benefit the greatest:

Children and Young Adults

This group is more susceptible to damage from high-energy blue light emitting from our computers, tablets, smartphones and energy-efficient fluorescent lights. Their lives revolve around these devices, and they’re holding them closer to their faces, which increases the intensity of blue light.

Pre- and Post-Cataract Patients

Post-cataract patients have had their crystalline lens removed and replaced with an intra-ocular lens. Once the lens of the eye is removed, the yellowing of this lens, which is also a natural blue light filter, is also removed. When the cataract is removed, the lens returns to its clear, child-like form. This makes the macula more susceptible to blue light and the photooxidation that accompanies it.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease with no cure, have a significantly increased risk of blindness as the disease progresses. Often, the disease starts in one eye and can affect the other eye at some later time. The increased macular pigment can slow the progression of AMD, help save the vision in the diseased eye and potentially delay the onset of the disease in the other eye.

Furthermore, family members of those diagnosed with AMD are at higher risk of developing the disease. Family history and genetics are the greatest risk factors for developing AMD. If one of your parents, grandparents or a sibling has the disease, your risk of disease onset increases. Building up macular pigment earlier in life should be strongly considered.

Those with Visually Demanding Careers

People with occupations that have critical vision requirements can benefit significantly from increasing their macular pigment density. Several studies have shown that the enrichment of macular pigment optimizes visual performance for athletes, the military and the police.

How Do You Increase Macular Pigment, and Why Is It Vital for Our Vision?

We can’t take macular pigment for granted. It is no accident that the ingredients that make up this protective layer in the eye accumulate in the center of the retina, where vision is the sharpest (particularly color vision), and oxidative stress is abundant.

These ingredients limit injury at the retina by absorbing the amount of short wavelength (blue) visible light incident upon the photoreceptors. But humans cannot synthesize macular carotenoids – we need to obtain them from diet or supplementation. Our diets have fewer of these critical nutrients due to a significant increase in processed foods. Even a healthy diet often does not provide enough of these nutrients to protect our vision from oxidation over our lifetime.

Thankfully, there is a supplement that contains all three macular carotenoids in a dose that has been shown to significantly increase macular pigment: MacuHealth. MacuHealth is scientifically proven to protect the eye from damage, rebuild macular pigment and manage the symptoms of AMD.

AMD

what does blue light do
What does blue light do to the retina? Read the answer below.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

The optics of your eye projects an image onto the retina, much like an old-fashioned camera does with film. And just like a camera, any number of factors can cause harm to that system and change how you see the world. This includes the high-energy blue light that comes from your digital devices. So what does blue light do to your retina? We’ll look at how this vital area of the eye works and how our phones, tablets, and computers can affect our optical system.

How Does the Retina Work?

The retina, located in the back of the eye, is part of the central nervous system. Thus this area consists of several layers of networked cells and their “wiring.” One part of this network are photoreceptor cells, often referred to as rods and cones. These capture the light that reaches the retina, which initiate a cascade of chemical and electrical events. The brain communicates them to the optic nerve and translates all of these signals into visual perception.

The macula is a term to describe the center of the retina. Because this region is cone photoreceptor-dominated, it enables daylight and color vision and gives detail to what we see. The remainder of the retina is dominated by rods, which promote sensitivity to dim-light conditions, such as vision at night.

What Can Blue Light Do to Damage the Retina?

As stated above, the photoreceptor cells in the macula convert light to electric energy. Then the brain interprets these transmissions. This high metabolic activity is very demanding and requires a lot of energy and nutrition to fuel the entire process.

Additionally, the photoreceptor environment is necessarily rich in oxygen and requires exposure to visible light to see, adding to the macula’s metabolic demands. These twin stresses can lead to damage.

What does blue light do to harm the retina? Blue light is composed of relatively short wavelengths, which have higher energy. Becaise chronic exposure to this high-energy light can produce photo-oxidation, it can compromise retinal health and performance. And over a lifetime, chronic blue light exposure can damage your macula, degrade your visual performance, and could potentially contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

But there is a way to protect the eye. A single layer of cells behind the retina, known as retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), nurtures the photoreceptors and removes waste products. One of these waste products from photoreceptor damage is known as lipofuscin (a yellow age pigment). This pigment accumulates over time in RPE cells and compromises their ability to function optimally (or at all).

As we age, lipofuscin fills the RPE cells, causing these cells to give out and extrude their contents. These cells, seen as lipids and proteins, are called drusen. The collection of these yellow deposits is a typical symptom of early AMD. Blue light interacts with lipofuscin to produce additional oxidative stress. This also causes further stress to the retina, increasing drusen formation and furthering the development of AMD.

What Does Macular Pigment Do?

What does blue light do to your vision in the long term? It’s scattered in front of the retina, contributing to glare and a reduction in contrast sensitivity, leading to a decline in visual performance.

You can find blue light in:

  • Sunlight
  • Smartphones, tablets and other hand-held electronic devices
  • Television and computer screens
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

In front of the photoreceptors is macular pigment, which means it filters light before it reaches photoreceptors and RPE. This protects them from free radicals and photo-oxidative damage. It is composed of the carotenoids Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin. The highest concentration of cone photoreceptors is in the center of the macula, known as the fovea. This area is responsible for sharp central vision and color. Macular pigment protects the entire macula. However, Meso-Zeaxanthin protects the center (and most vulnerable) region. This conveniently gives the fovea the best antioxidant protection of the three macular carotenoids.

Low macular pigment can cause photo-oxidative stress to the macula. Because more blue light is exposed to the cone photoreceptors, particularly in the fovea, an insufficient amount of antioxidants are available to neutralize the damaging free radicals. Studies have shown that deficiencies in the carotenoids that make up the macular pigment are associated with poor visual performance and age-related macular degeneration.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Eye Damage?

How can we protect our eyes from what blue light does to our vision? The only way to replenish these vital antioxidants is through diet. Research shows that Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin can be found in foods such as spinach, broccoli, corn, and eggs. These vital nutrients can also be replenished through supplementation.

Peer-reviewed research proves that supplementation with Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin rebuilds macular pigment and enhances vision in diseased and healthy eyes. MacuHealth and MacuHealth Plus+ are specifically formulated in the same 10:10:2 ratio found in natural macular pigment (10mg Meso-Zeaxanthin, 10mg Lutein, 2mg Zeaxanthin). These supplements enrich and restore macular pigment to optimum levels with continued use.

AMD

macular degeneration wet vs dry
Regular eye tests can determine if you could develop macular degeneration (wet vs dry)

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by the gradual loss of a person’s central vision. It remains the most common reason for vision loss in older adults, with more than 10 million people living with the condition in the U.S.

Central vision is served by a specialized region of the retina called the macula – hence the term macular degeneration. The loss of central vision caused by AMD is a type of retinal degenerative disease because the macula forms part of the retina. However, there are several forms of this disease, two of which are most common:  “dry” AMD and “wet” AMD.

This guide covers what you need to know about macular degeneration, wet vs. dry AMD, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

Wet vs. Dry Macular Degeneration

Degenerative retinal disease is a term for diseases afflicting the eye’s retina. Approximately 51.26% of people aged 60 to 69 will experience some form of retinal disease, with the rate rising through the age groups.

AMD causes issues with the macula at the retina’s center. Problems with the macula leave you with peripheral vision but disrupted central vision. All forms of AMD cause the cells beneath the macula to degrade.

Let’s discuss wet vs. dry AMD, including symptoms and treatment options.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet AMD, also known as exudative AMD, occurs in the late stages of the disease. It’s the least common form of AMD, with 15% of all diagnosed cases being exudative.

Atypical blood vessels will appear around the retina and macula. These blood vessels will begin to leak fats and proteins, which can lead to scarring. Without urgent treatment, bleeding behind the eye in elderly patients can lead to a dramatic and permanent loss of vision.

Symptoms

Wet AMD can cause severe problems with your vision. It is not uncommon for straight lines to appear crooked, wavy, or warped. Some other symptoms of wet AMD include:

  • Blurry areas in your central vision.
  • Blank spots in your vision.
  • Worse vision in dimly lit areas.
  • Less vivid colors.

Treatment

Treatments exist for wet AMD to prevent further vision loss. These treatments are designed to lower the number of irregular blood vessels in the eyes. Note that none of these treatments can reverse any of the damage caused.

There are two approved solutions for wet AMD, including:

  • Anti-VEGF Medication – The purpose of anti-VEGF is to stop the specific protein causing blood vessels to expand and leak into the eye. It is an effective treatment for treating the number of irregular blood vessels within the eye. These medications must be injected into the back of the eye. Depending on the severity, treatment may need to be repeated every few weeks or months.
  • Thermal Laser Photocoagulation – TLP uses lasers to target and destroy the irregular blood vessels in the eye. TLP is reserved for severe wet AMD cases and is usually paired with anti-VEGF medication.

Dry Macular Degeneration

Most people with diagnosed AMD have the dry version. Dry AMD makes up 85-90% of all diagnosed AMD cases. With the early, dry form of AMD, there is less retinal damage and, therefore, less vision loss.

Dry AMD is marked by deposits of clumped debris in the retina called drusen. Waste products from the retina’s cells make up these yellow deposits; drusen can clog the pathways that otherwise would nourish the visual cells in the retina and carry away waste products.

Symptoms

Dry macular degeneration shares many of the same symptoms as wet AMD – it is, therefore, crucial to see an eye care professional annually in order to catch the disease at the earliest possible stage.

Symptoms include blank spots, perceiving straight lines as warped, problems seeing in low lighting, and problematic central vision. However, symptoms vary in severity based on how advanced AMD is.

  • Early Stage – No visual symptoms, but a scheduled dilated eye exam may stumble upon signs of early AMD – namely the presence of drusen.
  • Intermediate Stage – Visual symptoms are usually present, with some distortion, blurriness, and difficulty seeing in low light is the most common.
  • Late Stage – The same symptoms as wet AMD, with a noticeable decline in vision.

Treatment

There are some differences between wet AMD vs. dry AMD treatment. Scientists are exploring potential ways to halt the progression of dry AMD and prevent the onset of later-stage disease. Studies of specific nutrients to support the health of the retina have yielded very promising results. Other studies have characterized some benefits from the use of stem cells and pharmaceutical agents.

In the meantime, preventative steps, such as living a healthy lifestyle, can significantly reduce your risk of dry AMD. Also, the importance of scheduling regular eye exams to catch early problems cannot be overstated. Your eye doctor is an expert at catching subtle changes that may signal a cause for concern. The earlier AMD is caught, the better the outcome.

How to Prevent Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration

Both dry and wet AMD originate from damaged cells underneath the retina. Adopting strategies to protect your eyes can reduce your risk of experiencing AMD. While there is no way to reduce your risk to zero, healthier people are less likely to experience the condition.

Macular degeneration prevention begins with your lifestyle. As spelled out in some detail below, you can take substantial steps today to preserve your vision for the future.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of sight problems later in life, as well as a host of other conditions. Quitting smoking as early as possible can prevent further eye damage and produce a regenerative effect on the rest of your body.

Improve Your Diet

Your eyes need proper nutrition for proper health and maintenance. Keep your eyes in good working order by eating a balanced diet filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Think about what you eat and incorporate more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish oil into your diet. Reducing your greasy, fatty food intake is also helpful.

Take Proper Supplements

Doctors recommend a diet with green vegetables such as kale and spinach. They’re rich in antioxidants known as carotenoids. But modern farming conditions have caused a decrease in the nutritional value of food. Now the average American consumes 1/20th of the recommended amount each day. This isn’t enough to improve visual performance and manage AMD progression.

Thankfully, supplementation is a viable way to replenish macular carotenoids. Studies show that supplements containing all three macular carotenoids – Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin – boost macular pigment; a dense macular pigment layer significantly improves the health and performance of the retina. Taking a high-quality supplement like MacuHealth is an excellent way to ensure that the body receives the proper amount of carotenoids needed to support visual health and performance.

Schedule Regular Eye Appointments

Catching the signs of AMD enables you to take preventative steps.

Dry AMD progresses in stages, meaning that you may not have any symptoms during the early and intermediate stages.

While wet AMD tends to have more profound symptoms, regular eye appointments can help your doctor spot the warning signs.

Early diagnosis can allow you to enjoy healthy vision for longer and take positive steps to slow the onset of this degenerative eye disease.

Preserve Your Vision with MacuHealth

Understanding macular degeneration and wet vs. dry AMD symptoms is essential for taking action to preserve your vision as you age.

MacuHealth’s patented formula is the supplement that doctors choose to improve the health of the retina, leading to better visual performance and protection from AMD.

To learn more about eye vitamins for macular degeneration and how to preserve your vision, shop now with MacuHealth.

AMD

improve hand eye coordination
Want to boost your pickleball game? Read on for tips on how to improve hand-eye coordination

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Consider all the things that require hand-eye coordination. Everything from driving a car to picking up a ball involves cooperation between your hands, eyes and brain.

Good hand-eye coordination is a pillar of high-performance sports, and it’s natural to see it decline with age. Other factors that can influence this reduction include a poor diet, genetic diseases, and a sedentary lifestyle. However, you can improve hand-eye coordination with regular strengthening exercises that will allow you to maintain your athletic performance long into the future.

8 Easy and Effective Ways to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination

Researchers discovered that integrating specific exercises and movements into your daily routine can improve hand-eye coordination. We’ll explore eight easy and effective ways to strengthen the relationship between your brain, hands and eyes.

Shadowboxing

Shadowboxing is an exercise where you throw punches at an opponent or soft pads. The goal is not to hit hard but to increase your reaction time and improve your hand-eye coordination.

To begin, you aim left with your right hand or aim to the right with your left hand. There is a massive benefit in forcing the brain to cross the midline, the imaginary vertical line splitting you in half from nose to ankle via your belly button.

Another advantage of shadowboxing is it’s an excellent cardio workout. If you want to improve as an athlete, trading cycling or running for shadowboxing is an efficient way to advance on multiple fronts.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi has immense mental and physical health benefits. Adding this ancient martial art to your routine requires only a few minutes daily. Deep breathing and flowing motions improve balance, strength, range of motion and reflexes, with each movement requiring a high degree of eye-hand coordination. 

Play Catch

Playing catch is the simplest way to improve hand-eye coordination. Simply throwing backward and forward forces you to react to an object coming toward you. It’s easy to increase the difficulty: simply increase the speed of the throw or reduce the size of the ball.

Squash

Squash is played by hitting a ball against a wall at speed with yourself or other people. Catching the bounces and darting from side to side for a successful hit requires skill.

Head to the squash court or play it against the side of your house. Overall, it is one of the best options for improving hand-eye coordination.

Juggling

Mastering juggling can improve your coordination by giving you mastery over your peripheral field. When juggling, you’re looking at the point where the balls cross. Meanwhile, your brain is using that information to control your hands.

To add, getting the hang of juggling can be difficult, but starting with two beanbags, moving to three, and then switching to balls allows you to increase the difficulty gradually. You can also stand on a balance board while juggling to challenge yourself further.

Perform Eye Exercises

Basic eye exercises can also help you develop good hand-eye coordination. One of the most straightforward eye exercises is to take two similar objects and place one 18 inches away from you, with the other 10 feet away. Focus on the closer object for a few seconds and switch to the distant object. 

Concentrate on the little details and keep moving back and forth. Quickly changing focus is vital in sports for noticing the opposition and catching passes from your teammates.

Darts

Playing darts is an excellent way to improve your hand-eye coordination. It requires you to look at the dart and the board in front of you. The movement forces your brain to register both at the same time.

Success at darts requires tremendous accuracy. Even the slightest mistake will send your projectile wayward. Practice dart drills at home by picking out smaller and smaller targets on the board until you miss.

Swimming

One of the best exercises to improve hand-eye coordination is swimming. It helps maintain stability, and the repetitive movements as part of this full-body exercise enhance the connection between mind and body.

There is no particular way to get better at eye-hand coordination while swimming. Practice different strokes and swim lengths of the pool. It should be no surprise that doctors recommend swimming for young people and seniors to keep them healthy and maintain their coordination.

Conclusion

To summarize, reaching your potential and performing at a high level requires more than speed and strength. Regular exercises designed to develop your coordination should form part of your daily routine. But it doesn’t stop there. Correct supplementation with high-quality eye vision supplements like MacuHealth gives your eyes the nutrients they need.

AMD

macular degeneration causes
One way to find age-related macular degeneration causes is regular visits to your eye care professional.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The eye disease affects over 11 million people and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. But research shows that there are ways to prevent and manage the symptoms of this progressive eye disease.

Before we learn how to address and manage AMD, it’s vital to know its causes. And while the disease affects those over the age of 50, there are steps anyone at any age can take to avoid any possible future vision loss. We’ll look at macular degeneration causes and what steps you can take to manage this condition.

Dry Macular Degeneration Causes

According to WebMD, 85 to 90% of people with AMD have the early or “dry” form. When your eyecare professional conducts a dilated eye exam, they’re looking for drusen, which are accumulations of cholesterol and protein that collect under the retina. These small collections can limit typical eye operations. Researchers believe these clusters are caused by an inability of the retina to clean itself over time.

The existence of some drusen is normal and generally harmless. But as you age, drusen become harder and collects in the macula, which mediates central vision. As it accumulates, these particles keep oxygen and other vital nutrients from reaching your retina. You’ll notice a slow visual decline and, if left untreated, can progress to the more severe form of the disease, known as “wet” AMD. In this stage, small blood vessels in the eye begin to break and leak fluid beneath the retina.

Wet Macular Degeneration Causes

According to most researchers, drusen are also a wet macular degeneration cause. It happens when new blood vessels grow underneath the macula in an attempt to bring oxygen and nutrients to starved tissue. Unfortunately, these new vessels can break and begin to leak blood and other fluid into the eye, causing damage to your vision.

What Puts You at Risk For Macular Degeneration?

Researchers have determined several conditions and behaviors that can increase your chance of developing AMD. You’ll notice that some of these behaviors are habits you can stop or change.

Age. The disease is called age-related macular degeneration for a reason. According to WebMD, 2% of people in their 50s have AMD. Almost a third of people over the age of 75 do.

Family history of AMD. Researchers have discovered several genes linked to the disease. If someone in your family has had AMD, there’s a risk you could develop it as you grow older.

Race and ethnicity. Statistics show that Caucasians have the highest risk of developing AMD, with Chinese and Hispanic/Latinos following behind. African Americans are the least likely to have the disease.

Gender. Women live longer than men, which is why scientists believe two-thirds of those with AMD are female.

Smoking. Cigarette smoking is a macular degeneration cause that is preventable. Tobacco use reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes and produces an extremely high level of oxidative stress in the body. These factors can lead to the development of the disease.

Heart disease. A history of heart disease or high cholesterol could raise your risk of developing AMD.

Weight and diet. Some studies indicate that having a body mass index of over 30 can double your chances of getting AMD. And don’t forget that a vegetable-rich diet can decrease your chances of developing the disease.

What’s the Solution?

The most important thing you can do to prevent AMD is to see an optometrist regularly for an exam. Your eye care professional can offer sound strategies to help navigate your situation. And as shown above, quitting smoking, along with vigorous exercise and a balanced diet, go a long way in preventing and managing the disease’s symptoms.

Additionally, supplementation with nutrients known as carotenoids – specifically Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin – can reduce the risk of developing AMD. Also, they can improve their visual performance. MacuHealth includes all three of the carotenoids that make up the macular pigment. The supplement is scientifically proven to protect the eye from damage, rebuild macular pigment and manage the symptoms of AMD.

AMD

macular degeneration treatments
There are numerous macular degeneration treatments to help you manage the disease.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

 

It can be terrifying and confusing when you’re diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But this doesn’t have to lead to a decline in your quality of life. Most people with AMD have the less severe dry form of the disease. Patients can still read, drive their car and run errands just as they did before being diagnosed. The late, or “wet,” stage accounts for approximately 10 percent of cases but causes legal blindness in 90 percent of disease sufferers.

While there isn’t a cure, researchers are developing new therapies to help patients manage AMD symptoms. These include ocular injections that can slow vision loss and supplements with crucial nutrients that feed the eye. These nutrients are three macular carotenoids – Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin – that rebuild macular pigment, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. We’ll look at some macular degeneration treatments that can help manage the disease.

In-Office Macular Degeneration Treatments

Here are some extensive and invasive macular degeneration treatments your eye care professional may recommend if you’ve progressed to the wet stage of AMD. This stage occurs when new blood vessels grow underneath the macula, the part of the retina that facilitates central vision, causing fluid or blood to leak into your eye and obstruct your line of sight.

Injections

Doctors typically inject Avastin or other anti-angiogenic drugs into a patient’s eye to block the growth of blood vessels. Then this macular degeneration treatment must be performed regularly, usually every month, to maintain vision levels.

Laser Therapy

Your doctor will shine a powerful light into your eye to destroy any irregularly growing blood vessels in the retina. Additionally, a similar macular degeneration treatment utilizes a drug the doctor injects into the bloodstream. When the laser is shined into the eye, the drug is activated, leading to the blockage of abnormally growing blood vessels.

Vision Aids

Doctors can insert a device into the eye called an implantable miniature telescope. Once inside, it magnifies and enhances the sight of those with advanced AMD.

Supplements and AMD Prevention

The best way to prevent and manage AMD symptoms is to visit your eye doctor regularly. This is especially important if you have a history of vision issues in your family. In addition to a typical eye exam, your optometrist will check for the disease by having you look at an Amsler grid. It is a series of straight horizontal and vertical lines. If any of the lines appear wavy, this is a sign that you’re developing AMD.

Another easy way to help prevent and manage the disease is to wear sunglasses. And if you’re a smoker, stop. Doctors also recommend a diet with green vegetables such as kale and spinach. They’re rich in antioxidants known as carotenoids. These nutrients replenish macular pigment, which absorbs dangerous blue light and blocks free radicals.

But modern farming conditions have caused a decrease in the nutritional value of food. Now the average American consumes 1/20th of the recommended amount each day.1  This isn’t enough to improve visual performance and manage AMD progression. Thankfully, supplementation is a viable way to replenish macular carotenoids.

Studies show that supplements containing all three macular carotenoids boost macular pigment. Consistent, daily use of high-quality supplements like MacuHealth is an excellent way to ensure that the body receives the proper amount of carotenoids needed to support visual health and performance.

References

  1. Johnson et al. 2010. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.06.009.
AREDS2 formula
Which eye supplement is right for you? MacuHealth or our AREDS2 formula, MacuHealth Plus+

AMD

Written by MacuHealth

Eye supplements are a great way to give the macula the nutrients it needs to enhance your vision. But if you’re researching which one is right for your needs, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. You may have some questions: What is an AREDS2 formula? Are they able to enhance my vision? Can they help manage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) symptoms?

The good news is that MacuHealth offers two products designed to meet your eye care needs. First, there is MacuHealth, which features our Triple Carotenoid Formula. We also have MacuHealth Plus+, designed for those who prefer an AREDS2 formula. But it might be unclear to know which one is right for you. To help, we put together a guide so you can choose the product that meets your eye care needs.

MacuHealth

If you’re showing early symptoms of dry AMD, have a history of the disease in your family or simply want to improve their general eye health, MacuHealth is perfect supplement to meet your needs. Its Triple Carotenoid Formula, which contains a patented 10:10:2 mg ratio of Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin, is proven to provide far superior results than using Lutein and Zeaxanthin alone.1 MacuHealth gives you what you need in just one softgel and nothing you don’t.

MacuHealth Plus+: Our AREDS2 Formula

If you’ve researched eye supplements, chances are you’ve heard of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and its follow-up AREDS2. The National Eye Institute (NEI) conducted both studies. Researchers worked with thousands of participants to see if nutritional supplements could slow down or prevent AMD and cataracts.

Your eye care provider may detect symptoms of AMD and might be more comfortable prescribing an AREDS2 formula. MacuHealth Plus+ is an AREDS2 formula, but with two distinct differences: it contains 25 mg of zinc, which is under the daily tolerable limit of 40 mg, as established by the National Institutes of Health. It’s also fortified with all three macular carotenoids: Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin, and Zeaxanthin.  

To further assist you in choosing the right supplement, we’ve prepared this chart below to help familiarize you with the features of MacuHealth’s Triple Carotenoid Formula and MacuHealth Plus+, our AREDS2 formula.  

Flyer MacuHealth vs MacuHealth Plus+

References

1. Li et al. 2010. doi:10.1016/j.abb.2010.07.024 

AMD

eye test for macular degeneration
You may receive an eye test for macular degeneration at your next exam.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

No one likes to get their eyes dilated when seeing their eye care professional. But according to WebMD, if you’re over 45 years of age, this is the best way for your doctor to check for early signs of eye diseases

And if you experience changes in your vision, it might be time to get an eye test for macular degeneration. This progressive eye disease can lead to distortions in sight and central vision loss. Some symptoms include:

  • A blurry or blind spot in the center of your vision
  • Difficulty adjusting your eyesight in low-lit areas or distinguishing objects from their background
  • Struggling to read a book or magazine or having difficulty recognizing faces

If it’s time to check your eyes, here’s some of the tests you may take to detect age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

What’s an Amsler grid?

Before going to see your doctor, there is an eye test for macular degeneration you can take at home. It’s known as the Amsler grid. Not only can it detect the signs of AMD, but it can also help you track any vision changes caused by the disease.

When you see the Amsler grid, you’ll notice it’s a piece of graph paper with a small dot in the center. To begin the test, start by holding the test far enough so that most of the lines are in view – typically the same distance from where you would read a book. Then close one eye because if you test with both eyes open, you won’t notice any abnormalities. Otherwise, one eye will compensate for the other.

If the lines appear curved or blocked out, it could be a sign your eye has developed the advanced form of macular degeneration known as wet AMD. The cause of the wavy lines is the fluid accumulating in or underneath the retina. This fluid meddles with retinal function enough to cause a spot in the center of your visual field.

amsler grid eye test for macular degeneration
The Amsler grid is an eye test for macular degeneration you can take at home.

What Tests Will I Receive?

The best way to manage AMD symptoms is to catch the disease as early as possible so that any treatments will be effective. Here is a list of eye tests for macular degeneration that you may receive from your doctor:

  • Ophthalmoscopy

 This test is also known as a funduscopy or retinal examination. Your doctor will dilate your eyes to allow them to look at your retina, optic disc and blood vessels using an ophthalmoscope. This instrument features a light and several small lenses to find any optic nerve damage, glaucoma and any drusen deposits, an early indicator of AMD.

  • Fluorescein angiography

This test checks to see if blood is flowing properly into the retina and choroid, the two layers in the back of the eye. Your doctor will begin by dilating your pupils and capturing images of the inside of your eye. Then they’ll inject a dye called fluorescein and take more pictures as the colored liquid moves through the blood vessels in the back of your eye.

  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT scan)

As you stare at a blinking light or target, the machine measures the thickness of your retina and optic nerve. This is done by using the amount of red light reflecting from these parts of the eye. Your doctor may or may not dilate your pupil for this exam. Not only is this eye test for macular degeneration, but it also detects glaucoma and retinopathy.

What Happens After My Eye Test for Macular Degeneration?

If your doctor detects any signs of AMD, they may recommend a change in diet that includes green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. They’re rich in antioxidants known as carotenoids. These nutrients replenish macular pigment levels, absorb dangerous blue light and block free radicals. Blue light exposure and free radicals are both known to contribute to AMD, so reducing the impact of these factors may slow or even stop disease progression.

Supplementation also offers a convenient and safe way to boost eye health. Studies show that supplements containing all three macular carotenoids boost macular pigment significantly. Consistent, daily use of high-quality supplements like MacuHealth is an excellent way to ensure that the body receives the proper nutrients needed to support visual health and performance.

AMD

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

best eye vitamins for blurry vision
What should the best eye vitamins for blurry vision have?

Humans are living longer. Medical science continues to make advancements to repair our joints, skin and other vital organs. But our eyes – which give us vision, our most treasured sense – continue to deteriorate as we age. This causes unclear vision and dark spots across our line of sight. As a result, some doctors may recommend risky invasive surgeries or injections. But this solution could make symptoms worse, not better.

There are also many eye care professionals who offer supplements to help patients manage their eye disease symptoms, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But how can you tell which supplements will deliver a real solution? We’ll explore what causes our eyesight to deteriorate and what you should look for when searching for the best eye vitamins for blurry vision related to AMD and visual health.

How Can Supplements Help Vision?

There’s a good chance that if you’ve been researching the best eye vitamins for blurry vision related to AMD, you’ve heard of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and its follow-up AREDS2. The National Eye Institute (NEI) conducted both of these studies. Researchers worked with thousands of participants to see if nutritional supplements could slow down or prevent AMD and cataracts. These are two diseases that can alter vision. These supplements feature antioxidants known as carotenoids, nutrients that make the macular pigment. 

The study included the following results:

  • Taking AREDS reduces the risk of progression from intermediate to advanced AMD by about 25 percent, with an additional 10 percent risk reduction with the addition of the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin (AREDS2).
  • Also, current and former smokers should take the AREDS2 formula and avoid the AREDS formula with beta-carotene, as it increases lung cancer risk.

Additionally, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, the two primary carotenoids in AREDS2 formulas, had “an incremental increase in benefit,” according to the NEI. Further Level 1 studies conducted show that by including Meso-Zeaxanthin, the third carotenoid that makes up the macular pigment, AMD symptoms can be managed or prevented.

What Should You Look For?

After the release of the AREDS and AREDS2 study results, countless supplements promising to reduce the risk of AMD flooded the market. But what should you look for when researching the best eye vitamins for blurry vision related to AMD? Here are four items to check for to help you decide.

All-Natural Ingredients

If the eyes are sensitive organs, then they can become irritated and damaged when exposed to synthetic ingredients. Be sure to protect them by checking the supplement’s label to ensure that what’s inside the bottle is all-natural.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability is the amount of active ingredients absorbed into the body’s circulation. Basically, it works like this: The higher the absorption rate, then the more nutrients go to where you need them. However, most vitamins degrade over time because they become exposed to light, oxygen and moisture. Additionally, researchers have proved that not all eye supplements offer the amount of ingredients they say.

“We confirm that a number of commercially available carotenoid food supplements do not achieve their label claim,” explained Dr. David Phelan, Professor John Nolan and Dr. Alfonso Prado-Cabrero in their study on supplements in the journal Nutrients.1

In order to check the bioavailability, take a look at the label. See if the supplement is in tablet or capsule form. Studies show that the best vitamins are oil-based capsules. Generally, capsules are more stable and less likely to degrade than tablets.

Meso-Zeaxanthin

Meso-Zeaxanthin is the most powerful carotenoid. Studies show2 that when it’s combined with Lutein and Zeaxanthin, these three nutrients become even more effective than when they’re on their own. Specifically, these ingredients are vital in rebuilding the macular pigment, filtering out harmful blue light, fighting inflammation and reducing oxidative stress in the eyes and brain. To clarify, Meso-Zeaxanthin is an essential ingredient in the best eye vitamins for blurry vision and visual health related to AMD symptoms.

Peer-reviewed

The supplement industry is unregulated. This allows companies to make false claims about their products and put inactive ingredients into their formulations. For consumers, the most effective way to verify a company’s claims is to see if the supplement has been through the peer-review process. You can trust a study’s results if it’s been published in a peer-reviewed journal. This form of quality control weeds out poorly researched work. It also gives eye care professionals and patients the confidence to trust a supplement’s claims.

What Are the Best Eye Vitamins for Blurry Vision Symptoms?

Of the best eye vitamins for vision on the market, MacuHealth was the first eye supplement to feature Meso-Zeaxanthin as an ingredient. Many companies now include this vital nutrient in their products. But over 40 peer-reviewed studies back up what MacuHealth’s all-natural Triple Carotenoid Formula can do to improve someone’s sight.

In terms of bioavailability, a study published in 2020,3 the current formulation of MacuHealth yielded a significantly higher response in the blood and retina when compared to standard macular carotenoid formulations. Additionally, another study showed that of the 46 supplements tested, 64% of them didn’t contain the amount of carotenoids promised on their label.1

To sum up, if you want to improve your visual health and performance, MacuHealth has everything you’re looking for.

References

  1.  Phelan, D., Prado-Cabrero, A., & Nolan, J. M. (2017). Stability of Commercially Available Macular Carotenoid Supplements in Oil and Powder Formulations. Nutrients9(10), 1133. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9101133

  2. Akuffo, K. O., Beatty, S., Stack, J., Dennison, J., O’Regan, S., Meagher, K. A., Peto, T., & Nolan, J. (2014). Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST): design and methodology of the CREST randomized controlled trials. Ophthalmic epidemiology, 21(2), 111–123. https://doi.org/10.3109/09286586.2014.888085

  3. Green-Gomez M, Prado-Cabrero A, Moran R, et al. The Impact of Formulation on Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and meso-Zeaxanthin Bioavailability: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(8):767. Published 2020 Aug 18. doi:10.3390/antiox9080767. 2. 

AMD

does blue light damage eyes

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Blue light is inescapable. We’re exposed to its short, high-energy wavelengths when we check our phones in the morning, and it strains our eyes as we stare at our computer monitors and tablets at work. Blue light is in the sunlight and fills our home when we turn on the lights and television sets. But does blue light damage eyes? We’ll share some reasons to cut down your exposure, along with proven ways you can protect your eyes.

Headaches, Eye Strain and Sleepless Nights

Blue light isn’t entirely unhealthy. Studies show it’s vital for some body functions. It releases serotonin, a ho­­rmone that can boost your mood and improve memory and reaction time. It also keeps us alert during the day and enhances our color vision.

But exposure to blue light at certain times of the day can be harmful. A Harvard study showed that blue light exposure before bedtime slows down the release of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our body’s circadian rhythm (or sleeping pattern). This disruption leaves us feeling more tired throughout the day, putting us at risk for depression, diabetes and heart issues.

But does blue light damage eyes? Prolonged exposure can cause eye strain and damage the macula, the part of your retina that processes your central vision. It accelerates the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and lowers your ability to see objects at night. It also leads to dry, irritated eyes and headaches.

Blue light protection is even more important after cataract surgery. The eye’s lens blocks some blue light on its own. Patients lose that natural filter that the cataract provides when it’s removed, which increases their risk for AMD.

Does Blue Light Damage Eyes in Children?

Increased screen time can be harmful to children’s developing vision. In addition to the effects of blue light on their sleeping pattern, studies have shown that nearsightedness (also known as myopia) is increasingly prevalent among kids, with tablets and video game consoles suggested as the culprit.

What Are Some Ways We Can Combat Blue Light?

20-20-20 Rule

As shown above, the answer to the question, “Does blue light damage eyes?” is “Yes.” And as the public becomes better educated on the dangers of blue light, device manufacturers have added a dark mode and other settings to products to reduce glare and block blue light by 30 to 60 percent. You can also rest your eyes by taking a 20-second break from your screen every 20 minutes, then focusing on an object 20 feet away.

Blue Light Glasses

Blue-blocking glasses have become popular over the last few years. They’re proven to stop blue light, but researchers don’t recommend them as they’ve been ineffective at reducing eye strain. You can try using artificial tears and humidifiers to keep your eyes moist and decrease headaches.

How Supplements Help with Blue Light

We’ve answered the question: Does blue light damage eyes? But is there any thing we can do to absorb it? In one clinical study, those who spent more than six hours in front of a screen and took a macular carotenoid supplement with Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin showed a significant reduction in headaches, eye strain and fatigue. There was also an increased improvement in sleep quality and macular pigment levels.1

However, several nutrition-based studies have demonstrated that we tend to fall short in our intake of fruits and vegetables, particularly the three antioxidant carotenoids that protect the central retina against blue light – Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin. Over time, without these nutrients, we run the risk of degeneration in our central retina. Consistent consumption of these carotenoids is necessary to maintain the health of the macula, especially as we age.

Although the body can absorb these carotenoids from spinach, carrots and other foods, the average person only consumes one to two milligrams of them daily in their diet.2 Additionally, new farming methods and environmental conditions have caused a decline in the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, which means that we get about 1/20th of the recommended amount of these vital nutrients.

Supplementation with these three carotenoids is a viable way to ensure high levels in the retina. Quality supplements like MacuHealth are an excellent way to ensure that the body receives the proper amount of the essential carotenoids it needs to support visual health and performance. Studies show that supplements containing Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin increase the macular pigment significantly, improve visual performance and absorb blue light.

References

  1. Stringham, J. M., Stringham, N. T., & O’Brien, K. J. (2017). Macular Carotenoid Supplementation Improves Visual Performance, Sleep Quality, and Adverse Physical Symptoms in Those with High Screen Time Exposure. Foods (Basel, Switzerland)6(7), 47. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6070047
  2. Johnson, E. J., Maras, J. E., Rasmussen, H. M., & Tucker, K. L. (2010). Intake of lutein and zeaxanthin differ with age, sex, and ethnicity. Journal of the American Dietetic Association110(9), 1357–1362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2010.06.009