What is the Macular?
At the back of the eye is a layer of light sensitive tissue called the retina; the macula is found at the centre of the retina, where the incoming rays of light are focused. The macula is very important and responsible for:
· What we see straight in front of us
· Our ability to see and distinguish colours
· The vision needed for detailed activities such as reading and writing
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?
Sometimes the delicate cells of the macula become damaged and stop working. Almost certainly it is some sort of nutritional deficiency that can happen at any age, although it tends to happen as people get older and is referred to as age-related macular degeneration.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a serious condition, which affects nearly two million people in the United Kingdom. It is the most common cause of poor sight among people over 60, but while it rarely leads to 100% sight loss, most sufferers will have severely restricted vision.
There are two different types of AMD:
· Dry AMD: Around 90 per cent of people diagnosed with AMD have the dry type, which occurs when the cells of the macular become malnourished and start to waste away, meaning that these cells can no longer function properly.
· Wet AMD: This is less common, affecting only approximately ten per cent of cases. It occurs when tiny new blood vessels grow between the retina and the back of the eye, when blood flow is failing, again from some sort of malnourishment or cardiovascular diseases. These blood vessels leak and bleed as they grow, causing scarring of the macula.
Early signs of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) could include:
· Blurred vision with close work
· Seeing straight lines as wavy – doorways can appear as a figure of eight
· Your sight degrades as you look straight at print or faces
· A black hole, that starts grey and goes steadily blacker, which may form in the centre of your vision
· Sensitivity to bright light and poor night vision
· You can only adapt very slowly from light to dark
Eventually you may only have a small amount of peripheral vision. You will need a good consultation with an eye doctor to identify precisely what is wrong.
What treatment is available for AMD?
Lutein (pronounced Loo-teen) and Zeaxanthin (pronounced Ze-ah-zan-thin) are the only carotenoid pigments found in the macular. For many years Lutein and Zeaxanthin have been identified as the only two Carotenoid antioxidants specific to lens and macula health, this may explain why they work as antioxidants in the eye and help protect it from sun damage. Lutein and Zeaxanthin act as a natural filter for blue light, which is very toxic to the retina. In September 2007, following a 6-year study, researchers of the National Eye Institute in Maryland, found that Lutein and Zeaxanthin can help to protect against Macular Degeneration.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein are the only two carotenoids found in the retina of the eye. Scientific research has shown that supplementation with these carotenoids can increase macular pigment density, thus providing natural protection against macular degeneration.
The amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye is referred to as macular pigment density. People with the highest risk of AMD, that is the elderly, women, smokers and people with light iris colours, also tend to have low macular pigment density.
Macular pigment density can be increased by dietary means. Such evidence provides an indirect link between dietary intake of zeaxanthin and lutein, macular pigment density and AMD risk.
What Is Lutein?
Lutein is a carotenoid found in vegetables and fruits, which acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against the damaging effects of free radicals.
· Lutein is not made in the body
· Lutein must be obtained from food or vitamin supplements
· Lutein is found in large amounts of green leafy vegetables
Lutein is one of over 600 naturally occurring carotenoids in fruit and vegetables. It is ten times more active than vitamin E at scavenging free radicals. There is good evidence to suggest that it has a role in the protection of light induced retinal damage, for delaying the onset of cataracts and against age-related macular degeneration, one of the major causes of partial blindness and eye problems in the elderly. Studies have also shown that it may improve normal visual performance and general eye health.
Instructions for Use
Take one capsule, twice daily with meals.