Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease of the macula, the small part of the eye’s retina that is responsible for our central vision.
This condition affects both distance and close vision and can make some activities — like threading a needle or reading — very difficult or impossible. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 50.
Many people with AMD have deposits under the retina called drusen. Drusen alone usually do not cause vision loss, but when they grow in size or number, there is an increased risk of developing advanced AMD. People at risk of developing a late stage of AMD may have a large amount of drusen or they may have abnormal blood vessels growing beneath the macula in one eye.
How can vitamins and minerals affect AMD?
A scientific study called AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) has shown that some antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the impact of AMD in some people.
The study found that people at higher risk for late-stage macular degeneration who followed a dietary supplement of vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, along with zinc, lowered the risk of the disease progressing to advanced stages by about 25 percent. The same treatment did not appear to achieve the same results among people without AMD, or within the first stages of the disease.
read more: AMD Supplements