Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment options
AREDS Vitamins & Diet
There is no treatment for dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD), but there are ways to slow the progression for some individuals. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that people with intermediate stage dry AMD could reduce their risk of progressing to advanced AMD by about 25% by taking a special high-dose formula of supplements, sold without a prescription.
The specific formulation of vitamins known as the AREDS formula: (Zinc 80 mg, Vitamin C 500 mg, Vitamin E 400 IU, Beta-Carotene 15 mg, and Copper 2 mg) is readily available over-the-counter sold by many manufacturers.
Vitamin supplements are not cures for AMD, nor can they restore vision already lost from AMD. For dry AMD taking a multivitamin with LUTEIN, eating 3 servings of fruit a day, avoiding snack foods, smoking, and sunlight, and eating fish, spinach, and collard greens has been found helpful.
We strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of these dietary supplements before taking them. High-dose vitamins, even when sold without a prescription, may present a risk for some people.
Smokers taking beta-carotene may increase their risk of lung cancer. High Dose Vitamin E (400 IU) has been linked to 5% higher death rates, bleeding, suppressing the body’s antioxidants and reducing the effect of cholesterol lowering medications.
What if AMD cannot be treated?
People with wet or dry AMD who cannot be treated will not become totally blind—they will still have peripheral (side) vision. With special low-vision rehabilitation, devices and services, people can often learn how to “see” again with their remaining vision. Optical low-vision devices such as magnifying spectacles, hand magnifiers, stand magnifiers, video magnifiers and telescopes are available to help you make the most of what vision you do have.
If you have been diagnosed with AMD, you must monitor your vision every day with an Amsler Grid. By tracking changes in your vision at home, you are acting as a partner with your eye doctor alerting them to worsening of your condition as early as possible. Dry AMD can convert to Wet AMD, and treatment outcomes are much more favorable the earlier Wet AMD is detected and treated.