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Glossary

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Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that may help prevent the destructive effects of molecular damage, also known as oxidative stress, in the body. Antioxidants are plentiful in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Atrophic AMD

Refers to dry AMD.

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are antioxidants that exist in the pigment of countless colorful fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids have been shown to reduce the damage caused by free radicals.

Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV)

CNV refers to the growth of new blood vessels under the retina, which is a key feature of wet AMD.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

A long-chain omega-3 fatty acid believed to help repair damage from oxidative stress and possibly contribute to the regeneration of photoreceptor cells.

Drusen

These small deposits that accumulate under the retina are usually present in dry AMD.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)

A long-chain omega-3 fatty acid believed to help defend against oxidative stress and may help regulate the blood vessel development associated with wet AMD.

Fluorescein Angiography

These special photographs of the retina enable the diagnosis of AMD and other diseases.

Legal Blindness

"A person shall be considered legally blind whose visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses” (“Legal Blindness” as defined in Blind Persons Regulations, Consolidated Regulations of Canada 1978, Chapter 371).

Low Vision

Low vision is the term given to the state of having less than normal vision or a visual disability. There are no specific visual acuity measurements that define it.

Lutein

Lutein is a yellow carotenoid pigment found in fruits and vegetables, primarily in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach. Lutein makes up the bulk of the pigment contained in the macula.

Macula

This small, central area of the retina makes it possible to see fine detail and is affected by age-related macular degeneration.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids may be important for eye health. Fish is the main dietary source of omega-3s, which have been shown to be beneficial for people with macular degeneration. Studies have shown that eating fish high in omega-3s can reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.

Peripheral Vision

This is side vision, or the field of vision that is not directly in front of you.

Photodynamic therapy

A procedure that uses a low-energy light to activate a prescription drug in order to destroy or slow leaking blood vessels. Photodynamic therapy also slows the rate of vision decline, and in some cases it may stabilize vision.

Photoreceptors

These are nerve endings in both the retina and macula that absorb incoming light. Photoreceptors have the ability to transform light into electrical energy and then transmit it to the brain where the energy is registered as images.

Retina

The retina lines the back of your eye and acts like film in a camera. It is a thin, multi-layered tissue that covers about two-thirds of the eye's inner wall and contains millions of photoreceptors.

Zeaxanthin

Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that helps maintain eyesight in conditions (associated with sunlight damage) such as age-related macular degeneration.