All of us are prone to age-related vision problems as we grow older. It is a fact of life, especially after 50 years of age.. Some experience vision problems earlier than others. Some do not affect our quality of life significantly. For a few, blindness is the only result.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) can result in blindness. AMD results from the accumulation of drusen beneath the retina. There are few deposits of drusen in early AMD. As the disease progresses, more and more drusen accumulate.
There are two forms of AMD. One is dry AMD. The other is wet AMD. Dry AMD affects about 90% of us. However, wet AMD results in blindness for about 90% of us.
AMD results from years of exposure to ultraviolet light, overload of blood glucose and other chemical stresses. Our retinas become less and less able to sense light and give us a clear picture of what we are seeing.
Option 1 – Saffron is a spice that protects and prevents our retinas from light and related damage. This is the root cause of AMD. In studies, saffron patients ended up with better vision (both day and night vision) compared to those patients on placebos. Visual acuity before and after the saffron study yielded the ability to see one full-line better on eye charts.
Option 2 – Alpha-carotene protects the pigmented cells in retinas. It protects against oxidative damage. Studies indicate that there is a 32% decrease in risk of developing AMD for those patients supplementing with alpha-carotene.
Option 3 & 4 – Lutein and zeaxanthin have been known for years to absorb the higher energy light that causes eyes problems. Studies have shown that they reduce the damage to the retina caused by free radicals. Additional studies with AMD patients show improved light sensitivity reducing the effects of AMD.
Option 5 – Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) is found in berries. It has been shown to be effective in countering the effects of night blindness. It improves the effectiveness of rhodopsin, a photosensitive protein found in our retinas. Night tests show that people supplementing with C3G can see better after just 30 minutes.
Option 6 – Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant. It protects our eyes from chemical and physical stresses. It is effective against wet AMD and prevents damage due to increasing pressure inside the eye. Astaxanthin shows remarkable ability to help diabetics address diabetic retinopathy.
If you are over 50 and don’t have any eye problems, you are very fortunate. I am well over 50 and don’t have any eye (or other) problems. I passed a Texas state driver’s license eye exam just a couple of years ago with 20/20 vision. I have had excellent vision my entire life, even with nitric acid burns on both eyes resulting from a chemical explosion in a laboratory during college.
Eyes are important. They greatly improve our quality of life. If you have AMD, talk to your physician about the six options above. You might be surprised with the answers.
Reference for today’s article is the July 2016 Life Extension magazine (lef.org).