Macular Degeneration — Eye Love Blog

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Carotenoid Supplements For Improving Contrast Sensitivity

Carotenoid Supplements For Improving Contrast Sensitivity 0

Carotenoid Supplements For Improving Contrast Sensitivity

Carotenoid Supplements For Improving Contrast Sensitivity

Carotenoid supplementation, such as Eye Love’s Ocular Health Formula, can lead to statistically significant increases in contrast sensitivity revealed a study in June’s Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science. This science-based evidence could be particularly beneficial to athletes and members of the military, as both must quickly identify fast-moving or small objects. Study participants were given 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin, which is the exact dosage in our formula.

Did you enjoy this quick tip? We’d love to start sharing more, so give us some love in the comments below!

One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Macular Degeneration or Macular Hole? What’s the Difference?

Macular Degeneration or Macular Hole? What’s the Difference? 0

Macular Degeneration or Macular Hole? What’s the Difference?

Many people each year go blind or have severely impaired vision as a result of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease, mostly associated with age, that affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, it’s the leading cause of vision loss for senior citizens in America.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs in the macula, the region at the center of the eye’s retina. It’s the part of the eye that responds most readily to light and allows the eye to focus precisely on small regions, such as the print on a book or the pixels on a phone screen. The pigmentary cells in the macula deteriorate and break apart, leading to the buildup of a substance called drusen in the eye which impedes clear vision. Because the macula is closely associated with precise focus, you may still be able to see quite well on the periphery even as the macula breaks down.

Macular degeneration is simply the progressive breakdown of the macula over time, stemming from this “clogging” effect as drusen builds up within the eye. In contrast, macular hole is a more distinct problem. As the name implies, it is literally a hole that develops in the macula. It can begin as the result of trauma or disease, but like macular degeneration — it generally begins simply as the result of aging.

An explanation of Macular Holes

Unlike macular degeneration, which starts in the macula, a macular hole actually begins in the vitreous body, which is the “jelly” that fills your eye. As you age, the vitreous body naturally contracts over time, stressing the fibers that connect it to the retina. In addition, these miniscule fibers can break down, allowing the vitreous to move more than it should.  The combination of vitreous shrinkage and degradation of the connective fibers can actually pull the vitreous body far enough away from the macula to create a small tear in the macula itself. This tear typically develops first into a macular cyst and then, if left untreated, progresses to a macular hole.

A small fraction of macular holes will actually heal themselves; for the rest, treatment typically involves a surgery called vitrectomy. In this procedure, the vitreous body is actually severed from the eye and replaced with an artificial vitreous “bubble.” This bubble presses against the macula, sealing the macular hole and enabling it to heal. As the macula heals, the eye’s cavity will refill itself with fluid and the bubble will naturally be absorbed by the eye. This process will require the patient to lie face-down for anywhere from two days to three weeks. Yikes! As you can tell, this is an extensive procedure and will only be performed if vision loss is severe. Because this is a progressive problem that can lead to serious vision impairment or loss, it’s important to discuss any vision issues quickly with your doctor if you suspect you may be developing a macular hole.

Have you ever experienced a macular hole? What did you notice?


One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration 0

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration


Symptoms of degrading vision often build slowly and go unnoticed for a long period of  time until they reach a degree of severity that may no longer be ignored. One may notice that he or she now needs glasses to read the text of a favorite book or magazine. Headaches grow more frequent - the result of constantly strained eye muscles. Once bright and vibrant colors may even take on more dull and muted hues.

While many conditions may result in impaired vision, wet macular degeneration is one of the most common culprits. According to AMD.org, when one is afflicted with this form of macular degeneration the membrane beneath the retina thickens and eventually breaks, disrupting the supply of critical oxygen to the macula. In response to this assault, the body forms new, abnormal blood vessels which grow up from beneath the retina toward the macula. These new blood vessels are quite delicate and are prone to leaking, which leads to scarring of the macula. This causes damage to both the retina and macula and often results in a rapid degradation of vision that, once lost, cannot be restored.

As is often the case with illness, catching wet macular degeneration early is key so one may take action to minimize its negative effects. While the condition is fairly serious, there exist several treatment options that can be highly effective if applied early. Following are a few telltale signs of wet macular degeneration.

  • Slightly blurred vision
  • Visual distortions in which straight lines may appear curved or crooked
  • Blind spots that most often appear in the middle of the visual field and that grow larger if left untreated
  • Hallucinations that involve seeing objects, animals, or people that aren’t actually present

Along with watching for symptoms, it is also important to know the risk factors for wet macular degeneration. Taking steps to reduce these risk factors is a critical step to take along the path of risk reduction. Additional risk factors for developing this condition include:

AMD Macular Degeneration   AMD Macular Degeneration

Knowledge is power. With an increased awareness of both symptoms and risk factors, one can detect and guard against the development of wet macular degeneration before it has a chance to threaten his or her vision. Additionally, eliminating the additional risk factors for this condition will not only help to protect one’s vision, it will also contribute to an overall greater level of health and vitality.


One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler


Sources:

http://www.amd.org/what-is-macular-degeneration/wet-amd/

http://www.medicinenet.com/macular_degeneration/article.htm

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Macular-degeneration/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

Why and How Macular Degeneration Affects Vision

Why and How Macular Degeneration Affects Vision 0

Why and How Macular Degeneration Affects Vision

Why and How Macular Degeneration Affects Vision

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects vision because the macula is part of the retina of the eye. The macula is located behind the lens on the back of the eyeball and helps images get to the optic nerve so they can be interpreted by the brain. The macula has the specific purpose of focusing fine details and enables people to read, drive, and see things like facial expressions.

So when the macula starts to break down and become dysfunctional, the central field of vision also suffers, though it leaves peripheral vision intact. This often causes confusion for those who are close to the person with macular degeneration because their eyes still look normal from the outside, so people don’t know why so much is missed by the one with AMD. At its worst form, what a person with AMD sees is almost like those scratcher cards that haven’t been scratched off yet — a blank circle covering the center area of where they look. Before that, the central vision may be distorted or partially “scratched.”

People with AMD are not blind, but they don’t have a full range of vision either. They are somewhere in between – as the former National Association for Visually Handicapped’s founding director, Dr. Lorraine Marchi, coined the phrase for AMD as being “hard of seeing.” A loved-one with AMD may not see the eyes of the person they are looking at, but they can usually see the general shape of the face. Since they know where the eyes are generally located, they can look at the eyes without seeing them.

In America, AMD — usually in the form of age-related macular degeneration— is the leading cause of vision loss for those who are over the age of 60. Studies show that exposure to UV rays, obesity, and smoking may increase the risk of AMD, and it seems to be more prevalent in Caucasians than in African-Americans. It has hereditary links and is also more common among women than men. Though there are two forms of AMD (wet and dry), 90% of those suffering from AMD have the dry, less severe form.

No cure has been found yet for AMD. With early detection, there are treatments that slow the progress of the disease, extending full vision longer. Have you been diagnosed with macular degeneration?

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler

SOURCES: http://www.visionaware.org/info/your-eye-condition/age-related-macular-degeneration-amd/how-does-amd-affect-vision/125   http://www.vistaeyecare.net/your-eye-health/eye-diseases/macular-degeneration/

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