A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Macular Degeneration
I had a question the other day about macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60.
It happens when the small central portion of your retina, known as the macula, deteriorates.
Because the disease develops as you age, it’s often called age-related macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration almost never causes total blindness, but it can cause significant visual disability.
There are 2 main types of age-related macular degeneration.
1. Dry Form.
The “dry” form of macular degeneration is characterized by the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, in your macula.
A few small drusen probably won’t cause changes in your vision, but as they grow in size and increase in number they may lead to a distortion of vision that you notice most when you read.
In more advanced stages, there is also a thinning of the light-sensitive layer of cells in your macula leading to atrophy, or tissue death.
In the atrophic form of dry macular degeneration, you may have blind spots in the center of your vision.
In the advanced stages, you lose central vision.
2. Wet form.
The “wet” form of macular degeneration is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid underneath your macula.
These blood vessels leak blood and fluid into your retina, causing distortion of vision, making straight lines look wavy, and creating blind spots and loss of central vision.
These abnormal blood vessels eventually scar, leading to permanent loss of central vision.
Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form and can lose some form of central vision.
But, the dry form can lead to the wet form.
Even though only about 10% of people with macular degeneration develop the wet form, they make up the majority of those who have serious vision loss from the disease.
It’s very important for people with macular degeneration to monitor their eyesight carefully.
As the name suggests, age-related macular degeneration is more common in older adults.
It’s the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 60.
Macular degeneration may be hereditary.
If someone in your family has or had the condition you may be at higher risk for developing it.
Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and being light skinned, female, and having a light eye color are also risk factors for macular degeneration.
To deal with macular degeneration it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Increase your intake of essential fats (flax oil, Omega-3 oils, etc.).
*Consider herbs such as Eyebright and Bilberry.
*Use Enfuselle products.
*Try warm compresses (can use moist, warm regular tea bag).
*Have a diet rich in bioflavonoids (berries, colorful veggies, etc.).
*Eliminate toxic cosmetics, eye care, and personal care products.
*Eliminate toxic household and laundry cleaners.
*Eliminate poor air quality, which could be irritating.
*Eliminate chlorinated shower/bath water, which could be irritating.
*Eliminate “hidden” allergies or sensitivities, which may aggravate your eyes.
*Avoid free radical damage; check heavy metal toxicity.
*Eliminate hydrogenated or trans fats, sugar and white flour.
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