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Category Archives: Macular Degeration

High Omega-3 Boosts Vitamin A Effect in Retinitis Pigmentosa & Macular Degeneration

A recent study posted in Archives of Ophthalmology on February 13th, 2012 showed that nutritional intake of Vitamin A and Omega 3 can help reduce vision loss in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

is a rare inherited disorder of the rod cells in the retina.  It is slow degenerative process that eventually leads to blindness. Symptoms start at childhood with night blindness.  A visual field test should be obtained if the condition is suspected.  RP occurs in 1 of 4,000 individuals in the US.  There is no cure for the disease but there are some treatments that may slow the progression.  The Argus II retinal prosthesis system is a wearable video system that can help patients blinded by RP or other retinal degenerations.  There are also retinal implants and electrical stimulation therapy.  Highly consider interventions with occupational therapy to help patients manage life changes.  Low vision evaluation and devices are also necessary in managing vision loss from RP.  Supplements such as Vitamin A and Omega 3’s can help retain vision in RP patients.

Dietary intake of Omega 3 Fatty acids in the form of salmon, tuna and mackerel will provide more DHA and EPA than supplemented foods.  Retinal cells need Vitamin A to stay healthy.  Omega 3 has been shown to be the transport system that brings Vitamin A to the Retinal cells.  Study shows that RP patients can take up to 15,000 IU/day dose with no toxicity over 25 years.  Pregnant women should not take more than 10,00 IU/day dose.

High dose Omega 3 can also help in patients with Macular Degeneration. Our office recommends 2,000 mg of Fish Oils which will provide at least 650mg EPA and 350mg DHA.

 

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Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a progressive eye condition that affects central vision and is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 60 years old. Complete or total blindness does not occur because peripheral (side vision) is maintained. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. The dry form is the most common type and accounts for 85% of all cases. Deposits called drusen are present. The wet form is least common and is the more severe form. Leaky blood vessels and bleeding can occur.

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Ultraviolet Light (Sun)
  • Hypertension
  • Age
  • Females > Males
  • Caucasian
  • Poor Diet

Treatment

  • Currently there is no cure, but controlling your risk factors can help limit progression.
  • Protect eyes from sunlight. Look for sunglasses marked “blocks 99% UV” or “UV absorption up to 400um”
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat right and take your vitamins. Anti-oxidants (Vit A,C, E) , Zinc, and Lutein are important
  • Lose weight and exercise
 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Macular Degeration, Retina

 

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February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Month!

We will post loads of information and photos about Macular Degeneration.  Here’s a quick definition from the National Eye Institute.

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. AMD causes no pain. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older. AMD occurs in two forms: wet and dry. –NEI

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Macular Degeration, Retina

 

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