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Macular Degeneration / Age related macular degeneration (ARMD)

Causes, prevention, traditional remedies, ayurveda

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is also known as Age related macular degeneration as the symptoms usually do not appear in people below 55 years of age.

The macula is a spot about 1/16 inches in diameter at the center of the retina. The macula enables focuesed vision and allows you to read, drive, watch TV etc. Macular degeneration refers to the scarring of the macula. This scarring distorts part of the central image that the eye transmits to the brain. This happens even though the rest of the retina of the eye can continue to process images at the side of the field of vision.

Macular degeneration can be dry or wet. The wet form of ARMD is less common and requires immediate medical attention as delay in treatment can lead to loss of central vision.

Who can get affected by Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the primary cause of vision loss in the US. More than 13 million people in the US show some sign of ARMD. Symptoms generally appear in people over 55 years of age. For people over 65, macular degeneration may already affect their central vision even though most people with this disease are able to maintain peripheral vision.

What causes Macular Degeneration?

Dry ARMD is caused by tiny yellow deposits that develop beneath the macula. This signals degeneration and thinning of nerve tissue. Sometimes Dry Age related macular degeration develops in wet or neovascular ARMD. In this case abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the macula. When these vessels leak blood and fluid onto the retina, retinal cells die which cause blurring and blank spots in the field of vision.

People are more likely to get ARMD as they grow older. Risk Factors for ARMD
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Nutritional deficiencies.

Herbal Remedies for Eye Care
Himalaya Herbals Triphala for eye care
Triphala


Himalaya Herbals Amalaki for vitamin C
Amalaki


Tulasi for eye relief
Tulasi


Punarnava
Punarnava


What are the symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

  • Dim or distorted vision especially when reading
  • Gradual loss of central vision
  • Blank spots in central vision. Straight lines appear wavy, printed matter appears distorted
You should see an ophthalmologist if you experience any of the above symptoms. If you have diabetes, hypertension or heart disease and start exhibiting the above symptoms, you may be at risk for wet ARMD. If you already have been diagnosed with ARMD and then discover you are experiencing blank spots, distorted printed matter, or straight lines appear wavy then you may be developing wet age related macular degeneration.

How is Macular Degeneration diagnosed?

The macula will be inspected by the ophthalmologist. Fluorescin angiography, a painless photographic procedure will be used to show the pattern of the eye's blood vessels and detect any abnormalities.

How is Macular Degeneration treated?

Macular degeneration is not reversible. For dry macular degeneration, use of large print publications and magnifying glasses helps. For wet macular degeneration, a surgical procedure called laser photocoagulation destroys leaking blood vessels that have grown under the macula.

Both dry and wet macular degeneration respond positively to ophthalmology treatment as well as alternative, natural remedies.

What are some natural ways to prevent and halt progression of Macular degeneration?

  • Eat yellow vegetables containing carotene such as carrots as well as berries such as cherries, blackberries and blueberries which contain antioxidant flavonoids.
  • Take antioxidant rich foods as antioxidants fight the negative effects free radicals have on retinal blood vessels
  • Older people exhibit deficiencies of zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E. Take foods or supplements that contain these vitamins.
  • The following herbs contain high doses of vitamins and are powerful anti-oxidants. These are recommended in ayurvedic medicine for eye disorders.
  • Triphala is considered especially beneficial for the eyes. Put a teaspoonful of Triphala powder (you can open triphala capsules to get pure triphala powder) in a glass of water, and let it stay overnight. Strain the water and wash the eyes with it in the morning.
  • Take care of your eyes regulary. If you work at a computer, take breaks every half an hour so your eyes get rested from strain
  • You can also give rest to your eyes by rubbing the palms of both hands for about 30 seconds and then gently placing the warmed palms over the closed eyes.

    References:

    The Medical Advisor - The complete guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments

    Himalaya Herbals Company



    Herbs for Eye Care

  • Amalaki
    Amalaki is an anti-oxidant
    Himalaya Herbals Pure Amalaki Capsules
    Triphala
    Triphala is considered beneficial for eyes
    Himalaya Triphala capsules
    Punarnava
    Helps to rejuvenate
    Himalaya Punarnava capsules


    


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