Currently, there are no medical treatments for dry MD. However, a considerable amount of research is being conducted to find a treatment. Nutritional supplements may help to slow down AMD and prevent vision loss in some people.
The Age Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS I & II) are 2 major clinical trials conducted by the National Eye Institute in the US. The studies identified a specific formula of antioxidants including a high dose of zinc that can significantly reduce the relative risk of progression of AMD and delayed vision loss.
The daily amounts of these are:
- Zinc – 80 mg
- Copper – 2 mg
- Vitamin E – 400 IU
- Vitamin C – 500 mg
- Lutein – 10 mg
- Zeaxanthin – 2 mg
Any changes in diet or lifestyle should be made in consultation with your doctor.
Several studies have identified nutritional factors that may help protect against AMD. These include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Fish
- Carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin: Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach), collards, green beans, peas, fruits and some berries.
- Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E, and zinc.
Including these foods in your diet is generally healthy, with the additional bonus of helping with AMD!
Other factors that may help slow the progression of AMD include:
- not smoking
- improving your diet by including green leafy vegetables, fruits, berries and fish, and avoiding high-fat foods
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle, controlling your weight and exercising regularly
- reducing exposure to ultraviolet light by wearing sunglasses.
Regular eye checks
It is important to have your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye specialist). This is especially important if you are over 50 years of age, as the risk of many eye disorders increases as we age.
Everyone should have an eye health check at least every 2 years.