Macular degeneration is a disease of the eye that can lead to blindness by affecting the center of vision, causing blind spots. There are two forms, wet and dry macular degeneration. The dry form is more common and tends to progress more slowly and less severely than the wet form, which can often progress to total blindness. Macular degeneration currently affects more than 13 million Americans.
According to webmd, “Most patients with macular degeneration have the dry form of the disease and can lose some form of central vision. However, the dry form of macular degeneration can lead to the wet form. Although only about 10% of people with macular degeneration develop the wet form, they make up the majority of those who experience serious vision loss from the disease. So any natural treatment of wet macular degeneration would also be good for dry macular degeneration since the disease starts with the dry form and progresses to the wet form of the disease.”
The good news is that there are many ways to naturally treat macular degeneration, from dietary changes to essential oils. Here is a list Dr. Axe, the renowned Certified Nutrition Specialist, Natural Medicine expert, and licensed chiropractor has compiled on his website:
Five Natural AMD Treatments & Supplements
- Antioxidants (Bilberry- 160 mg 2x daily): This extract helps improve blood circulation in the eye.
- Lutein (15 mg daily): Prevents oxidative damage.
- Fish Oil (1,000 mg daily): Take at least 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg DHA in the form of fish oil or cod liver oil..
- Astaxanthin (2 mg per day): Astaxanthin is a potent free radical, it may help prevent retinal damage.
- Zeaxanthin (3 mg daily): Prevents oxidative damage.
There are also recommendations on foods to eat and those foods that should be eliminated from the diet.
Foods to prevent Macular Degeneration
- Foods high in carotenoids: Orange and yellow vegetables are critical to provide sufficient vitamin A, to help keep eyes healthy.
- Fresh fruit and vegetable juices: Juices provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep eyes healthy, just make sure to watch the sugar content.
- Blueberries and cherries: These two super fruits contain anthocyanin that can help fight free radicals that damage eyes.
- Water: Adequate hydration keeps eyes hydrated and helps them flush out any debris.
- High fiber foods: Keep toxins out of the body,. Consume at least 25 g of fiber every day.
Foods that worsen Macular Degeneration
- Foods that contain free radicals: Trans fats, hydrogenated fats, and charred foods all contain free radicals that can cause damage to vision.
- Alcohol: Liver toxicity can lead to eye problems, and alcohol is drying to the eyes.
- Sugar: Speeds the aging process, causing cellular oxidation and leading to macular degeneration.
Essential Oils for Macular Degeneration
Frankincense oil has been demonstrated to improve eyesight, helichrysum oil improves vision and supports nerve tissue, and cypress essential oil improves circulation which can subsequently alleviate the symptoms of macular degeneration.
Apply 3 drops of any of these essential oils twice daily on cheeks and lateral eye area, but don’t apply directly into the eyes.
Any combination of habit changes, dietary changes, supplementation and essential oils is likely to produce improvement in most cases of macular degeneration. However, these recommendations are considered an adjunct to your current treatments. Treatment and follow-ups with your eye care professional must be continued in order to maintain healthy eyes and vision!
Dr. Jenna Zigler
We would love for you to join our Macular Degeneration Support Community on Facebook. If you suffer from dry eyes, join us in our Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community as well!
P.S. Use the code HEALTHYEYES for $15 off your first order of our Ocular Health Formula Vitamin that has been studied to prevent the progression of macular degeneration according to the Age-Related Eye Disease 2 (AREDS-2) Study.