Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): Treatment
The most important recommendation given for the treatment of AMD is an active and healthy lifestyle. This includes the activation of the circulation by physical activities and sport, smoking cessation and a healthy diet rich in vitamins.
Treatment of wet macular degeneration: Several treatment options are available for wet macular degeneration. Abnormal blood vessels can be ablated by laser treatment to prevent further leakage of fluids into the eye. However, the ablation of the tissue can only slow the disease progress. During photodynamic treatment, drugs are injected into the arm veins of the patient. These accumulate in the abnormal new blood vessels in the retina of the eye and can be activated by low-energy laser, causing a targeted ablation of this newly formed tissue. A further therapy option is an operation in which the abnormal growth is removed from the eye.
Treatment of dry macular degeneration: Dry macular degeneration can be influenced positively by a balanced nutrient intake, as can be achieved by a varied diet.
Magnifying reading aids are helpful to improve vision for both types of macular degeneration. This includes reading lenses, books in large print and screen readers, which strongly magnify letters.
The body’s defences, which protect our eyes from risk factors such as sun light and free radicals, can only operate if they receive sufficient protective compounds. Many of these compounds have to be taken up in the food, as the organism is unable to produce these.
Especially foodstuffs containing lutein and zeaxanthin, such as spinach, green cabbage or broccoli should therefore be regularly eaten. However, there are several reasons why it is not certain that the necessary level of micronutrients can be reached in our daily diet as we age.
Additional micronutrients can strengthen the natural protection mechanism of the eyes. They need to be delivered in the correct composition and in sufficient quantity. These include:
- Antioxidative vitamins such as the vitamins C and E
- Carotenoids such as lutein und zeaxanthin
- Trace elements, in particular zinc, copper and selenium
Large scientific studies (e.g. ARED or LAST) have demonstrated the importance of these nutrients in the treatment of AMD.