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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss among people 50 or older. Fortunately, thanks to dedicated research, there are recommended formulations of vitamins and nutrients available to help reduce your risk of developing it. Some companies have even released multivitamins built on these daily guidelines for people concerned about maintaining strong eye health.
Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive, degenerative condition in which damage occurs over time to the macula. This is the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. AMD doesn't cause blindness, but can interfere with your straight-ahead vision, often causing a blurred area or sometimes blank spots in your central vision. Age is the major reason for this, but there are other risk factors:
Even if you've witnessed no AMD in your family, it can still develop. Healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk, including not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining proper blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You can further maintain your eye health by getting enough of the nutrients recommended in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2).
The Age-Related Eye Disease Studies are major clinical trials conducted by the National Eye Institute to determine the risk factors of AMD and evaluate the effects of various nutrients on its development. Based on the results of these tests, the NIH has developed formulations of nutrients aimed at countering macular degeneration.
The current formulation from the most recent study, AREDS 2, is:
The recommended daily values of these nutrients and minerals will not totally prevent AMD, but this formulation has shown promising results in delaying the progression of advanced AMD, as well as maintaining quality of vision in those with intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in only one day.