Detecting Early Macular Degeneration

Detecting Early Macular Degeneration

Posted on Aug.03, 2010, by , under Educational

Are you worried that you might lose vision from macular degeneration?

Because vision loss can be irreversible, detecting early macular degeneration is essential to proper treatment!

Macular degeneration is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness among elderly people. Detecting early macular degeneration can be difficult, since most studies, including the National Eye Institute’s Age Related Disease Study, have looked primarily at macular degeneration that is of medium severity or worse. Early macular degeneration, while predominantly an issue of senior eye health, can be seen in younger individuals. Detecting early macular degeneration may disclose the following subtle examination findings:

Drusen – Drusen appear to the examining doctor and on retinal photographs as yellow or off-white deposits scattered throughout the macula, which is the central area of the retina.

When examined under a microscope, drusen represent debris located between the retina and Bruch’s Membrane.

Drusen are considered low risk when they are small or made up of a material called “hyaline.” These low risk drusen also called, “hard drusen.”

Drusen are considered high risk when they are fluffy in appearance without clear borders. These drusen are called “soft drusen.” Sometimes, soft drusen are not separated, and are instead connected, or “coalescent.”

Pigmentation, or dark deposits, can be associated with drusen, or may be found on the retina without drusen. Pigmentation that is irregular is always considered abnormal in the macula. However, in some cases the pigmentation is difficult to see. Doctors will describe the macula as “mottled,” meaning there is some subtle pigmentary change that is not clearly macular degeneration. Therefore, the findings may be so subtle as to make detecting early macular degeneration difficult.

Upon diagnosis of early macular degeneration, the only known treatment is supplementation with high dose eye vitamins. No prescriptive pills nor eye injection, as is done with wet macular degeneration,

The National Eye Institute’s Age Related Eye Disease Study proved that macular degeneration could be slowed down using a specific formula of vitamins:

  • 25,000 IU of beta-carotene
  • 500 mg of Vitamin C
  • 400 IU of Vitamin E
  • 80 mg of Zinc
  • 2 mg of Copper

However, subsequent studies, such as the Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial, showed IMPROVEMENT in vision when 10 mg of Lutein was added to the daily regimen.

While no vitamin supplement can guarantee that early macular degeneration won’t progress, we recommend VisiVite i-Defense Yellow or Red Formulas, based upon the latest scientific findings.

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