Early Stage Macular Degeneration Advice
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is categorized into four main stages:
Early, Intermediate, Advanced, and Wet
In its early stages, the following signs of macular degeneration can go unnoticed. Though some may experience:
- The gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- The shape of objects appears distorted
- Straight lines look wavy or crooked
- Loss of clear color vision
- A dark or empty area in the center of vision
There is no cure for AMD and any loss in vision cannot be restored. As a result, it is important that we focus on doing our part to help prevent the progression of the disease. Studies show that nutrition, proper health control, avoiding smoking, and proper UV protection are pivotal in combating progression at the earliest form of the disease.
Two carotenoids, lutein (pronounced loo-teen) and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin), filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. Of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only these two are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye. Unfortunately, the human body does not naturally make the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs. This is why eating green vegetables is important. Getting daily amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin through your diet can help maintain good eye health. Significant evidence points to a goal of 10 mg of lutein daily.
In addition to diet and proper health control, it is important for early AMD patients to monitor their macular health while away from the doctor’s office. The Amsler grid is a great way to self-check any changing irregularities in the retina.
To use the Amsler grid, follow these steps once a day, every day: