Macular Degeneration

macular degeneration vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of diseaseVitamin Science, Inc is based in Huntington, New York, and manufacturers VisiVite vitamin supplements to treat macular degeneration that are based upon the recommendations of the National Eye Institute, which is part of the United States National Institutes of Health.

These recommendations were based upon a multi-year study involving thousands of patients with macular degeneration. The study was called the Age Related Eye Disease Study or "AREDS." Patients with moderate degrees or more of macular degeneration were found to have a reduced rate of progression of their eye disease if they took the high-dose supplements in the study.

These doses were much higher than are typically found in any multi-vitamins, such as Centrum or even prior formulations of eye vitamins, such as Ocuvite or ICaps.

Vitamin Science products are available and/or described on the following sites:

Vitamin Science manufacturers four formulations of VisiVite which are based upon the AREDS study:

  1. VisiVite Original Formula - duplicates the AREDS formula
  2. VisiVite Smokers Formula - similar to VisiVite Original Formula, but removes Beta-carotene (increases risk of lung cancer in smokers) and adds 8 mg of Lutein
  3. VisiVite Plus Formula - includes all AREDS formula ingredients, then adds Bilberry, Selenium and 10 mg of Lutein
  4. VisiVite Smokers Plus Formula - Begins with ingredients in VisiVite Smoker's Formula, then adds Vitamin B6, Bilberry, L-glutathione, Selenium and an additional 2 mg of Lutein.


Important Facts About  Macular Degeneration & Low Vision

An eye condition in which the macula, a sensitive area in the retina responsible for central and detail vision, is damaged, often causing loss of central vision.

TYPES: "Dry" Form - usually progresses slowly and causes central vision loss. "Wet" Form - rarer, and more severe. May progress rapidly causing significant central vision loss.

WHO GETS IT: Most common in people over 60, but can appear as early as age 40. It is the most common cause of severe vision loss among people over 65, and, as life expectancy increases, the disease is becoming an increasingly significant problem.

CAUSES: There is no conclusive proof as to what causes it, however, some scientists believe heredity may play a part, as may UV light exposure and malnutrition.

PREVENTION: Although there is no hard evidence as to how to prevent it, these steps may help:

  • Regular eye exams by your eye care specialist, who is specially trained to detect many vision-threatening conditions even before you develop symptoms. The earlier the problems are detected, the better chance of preventing vision loss.
  • Protection from UV-A and UV-B rays. Some studies have suggested that prolonged or frequent exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays may be a factor, so always wear your sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of UV rays when outdoors.
  • Proper nutrition. Although there is no concrete evidence that nutrition plays a role, a healthy diet can't hurt and can prevent many other health problems. New evidence supports the use of HIGH DOSE supplements.

TREATMENT: There is usually no treatment for the "dry" form, but low vision rehabilitation can help those with significant vision loss to maintain an excellent quality of life. Laser surgery can sometimes treat the "wet" form and low vision rehabilitation can help those with vision loss.

CURRENT RESEARCH: There is a great deal of research and several major scientific studies being conducted to find the causes and develop effective treatments. Visit the National Eye Institute Web site for additional information.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is one of the most promising new treatments for the "wet" type. It involves the injection of a drug, Visudyne, into the bloodstream, followed by a brief laser treatment. The laser "activates" the drug, which helps destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye that damage the macula. The procedure may be done in an ophthalmologist's office, and several treatments may be necessary for it to be effective.

 Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly.