Q&A with Dr. L
Dr. Leong Answers Your Eyecare Questions
How Can I Prevent Macular Degeneration??
Dr. Leong: Fortunately, there is prevention and treatment for AMD if scarring has not yet occurred. A study called AREDS (Age Related Eye Disease Study) was started in 2001, and AREDS2 results were released in 2013. Compiling over 3000 subjects over 10 years provided data on a special formulation of vitamin supplements that reduced the risk of advanced AMD.
AREDS2 supports supplementation of Vitamin C, E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin in patients with intermediate or advanced AMD. AREDS did not find any benefit in taking lutein or vitamin supplements for those who do not have AMD, nor AREDS also showed no benefit in subjects that were already well nourished with lutein in their diet.
An appropriate diet for those at risk for AMD can be found in “Eyefoods” which include food rich in carotenoids such as kale (nature’s sunglasses), orange peppers, spinach, and other examples found in the nutrition tab of our website.
Prevention of AMD can be achieved also by regular exercise, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, no smoking, and wearing sunglasses and blue blocker coatings to block UV light and high energy blue light.
Another controversial preventative measure includes genetic testing for CHF gene (complement factor H) and ARMS2 gene. The research on gene testing suggest that certain nutritional supplements may be appropriate or harmful depending on your genotype.
In our aging baby boomer population, the number of people affected by AMD will increase. Our knowledge about AMD is increasing, and AMD is treatable if detected early enough. Drs. Leong and Bui would be happy to see you and discuss your macular health at your next eye exam.