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Frequently Asked Questions About AMD

What is AREDS2?

A follow up to the original AREDS-Age Related Eye Disease Study, a second study called AREDS2 found that adjusting the original formula could help delay progression of AMD. The AREDS2 formula consists of: vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein, zeaxanthin and no beta-carotene.

Is there a cure for AMD?

Unfortunately, not yet. That’s why it’s so important to do everything you can for your eye health, including regular visits with your eye care professional, eating a healthy diet, and taking eye vitamin supplements as recommended. Learn more about the role nutrition plays in eye health.

Why is it important to know the risk factors for developing AMD?

There are risk factors you can’t modify, such as age and heredity. But there are also risk factors you can control, such as quitting smoking, controlling high blood pressure, eating a healthy diet, and limiting exposure to sunlight, specifically blue wavelengths, which studies suggest could be linked to AMD. Learn about your risk here.

What are antioxidants, and why are they important to eye health?

Antioxidants help protect our bodies, including our eyes, from damage by destructive molecules called "free radicals." When your body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to balance out the free radicals, the result is “oxidative stress.” Oxidative stress is thought to play a major role in the development of macular degeneration. Learn more about the role of antioxidants.

Are there other specific nutrients that can help eye health?

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two nutrients found in the retina and are thought to protect the eye from oxidation that breaks down healthy tissue. People with AMD have lower levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in their macula than those who don’t have AMD. That’s why getting more lutein through diet and/or supplements may help maintain healthy vision. To see how Vitalux® Vitamins can help you can get more lutein and maintain healthy vision, click here.

How do Omega-3 fatty acids help?

Omega-3 fatty acids may also be important for eye health. Fish is an excellent dietary source of omega-3. One study has shown that people who ate two or more servings of fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids per week, had a decreased likelihood of having wet AMD. Learn more about the nutritional value of omega-3.

Will I lose my vision completely if I have AMD?

In macular degeneration, total blindness or darkness almost never occurs because the disease does not affect the entire retina, but just the central macula. However, AMD can result in vision dropping to legal blindness (20/200 in the better eye).

How fast does wet AMD progress?

Unlike dry AMD, which progresses relatively slowly and may go unnoticed for years, wet AMD is more aggressive and can cause severe vision loss sometimes within weeks or months.

How is AMD diagnosed?

Your eye care professional can diagnose AMD based on your symptoms, medical history, and a basic eye exam. Because early detection can help preserve more of your vision, regular eye exams are important.

How is AMD treated?

With dry macular degeneration, treatment focuses on monitoring and slowing the progression of AMD. Following your eye care professional’s advice about vitamin supplements is vital. The National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that adding specific amounts of antioxidants and zinc can help maintain healthy vision. Learn more about the role vitamins can play in the fight against dry AMD.

With wet AMD, eye care professionals may recommend prescription drug, photodynamic, or laser therapy.

What are the symptoms of wet AMD?

Wet AMD can cause rapid, severe, and permanent loss of central vision in a matter of weeks. Symptoms include blurred vision, straight lines appearing wavy or distorted, blank spots in the central visual field, or any combination of these symptoms.

How common is AMD?

Over 1 million Canadians, the majority of them over age 50, suffer varying degrees of vision loss from macular degeneration, making it the number one cause of vision loss in Canada. In fact, with an aging population, the number of people with the disease is expected to double in the next 25 years.