A relative of mine has just been diagnosed with macular degeneration. He is in the early stages. My grandmother has it, and she was told that there is nothing she can really do (besides take Lutein). Since he is recently diagnosed and younger (early 60s), is there something he can do to stop the progression of this or cure himself altogether?
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Thank you for coming to EmpowHer and posting your question. I'm so sorry to hear about your family member being diagnosed with macular degeneration. That is never something any of us want to hear. The good news is......
I have a friend of mine who was diagnosed with macular degeneration. She has been able to arrest it. She's been all over the country trying to find the right doctor to treat her. She finally did. Let me contact her to see if she will tell me what she's done and who she saw for treatment.
I'll be back in touch.
Best in health,March 14, 2009 - 11:13pm
There are other natural ways to slow or stop progression of macular degeneration. Certain nutrients such as omega-3 fish oil and CoQ10 with L-Carnitine have been found to help slow down this condition and preserve vision. The most common causes are free radical damage from ultraviolet and blue light from sunlight passing through the crystalline lens. So, incorporating anti-oxidants like acai, goji berry, blue berries and others into the diet will be very important. Most sufferers of Macular Degeneration are also deficient in many imporant nutrients including fatty acids, lutein, bioflavenoids, zinc, selenium, vitamin B complex. I think it may be a good idea to consider adding these into the diet. If your relative is a smoker, he should consider giving that habit up as smoking causes serious radical damage and oxidation due to reactive chemicals in cigarretes.March 14, 2009 - 10:06pm
According to the National Eye Institute, "Treatment can slow vision loss. It does not restore vision." So, there does not seem to be a cure, but there are treatment options, especially since your relative caught this early.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a few treatment options, but the laser surgery is suggested only for "wet" AMD (I assume your relative has the more common "dry" AMD?). You can read about the differences of wet vs. dry AMD at EmpowHer's Macular Degeneration Medical Encyclopedia.
Other treatment options are to take "antioxidant vitamins and zinc", which may provide some benefit from preventing advanced AMD, but this has only been proven in persons with a risk of AMD (who do not currently have AMD). Another study also recommends, "folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12" for women who are at-risk in developing AMD, but have not yet developed this condition.
Acupuncture is also an option, but this also has not been proven effective as a reliable treatment.
The AMD Alliance (found here) has an entire page of treatment options for "wet" AMD, including:
- thermal (heat laser)
- Photodynamic Therapy
- anti-VEFG drugs
EmpowHer's Medical Encyclopedia outlines some possible treatment options for macular dengeneration that you can read here.
Lastly, here is a great article about a woman Living With Macular Degeneration.March 12, 2009 - 1:51pm