AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans
over age 50, according to the American Optometric Association. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 1.8
million have AMD and another 7.3 million people are at risk. As our
population ages at an ever-increasing rate, the incidence of AMD is
expected to triple by 2025.
Key risk factors for AMD are age, family history, smoking (past
or present), low macular pigment, poor diet, light skin and eyes,
high body mass index, and Caucasian women are also at slightly
higher risk. And while we cannot change our age, we can proactively
manage some of the risk factors and take steps to maintain or
improve our vision.
Published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Optometry,
the Zeaxanthin and Visual Function (ZVF) Study was conducted by Dr.
Stuart Richer of Chicago. The study included 60 early AMD patients
who consumed a daily dose of 8 mgs of dietary Zeaxanthin for one
year. The patients' vision improved in the areas of: high contrast
visual acuity (reading, needlepoint, etc.), which improved by 8.5
letters on an eye chart; central scotomas or "blind spots" were
resolved; foveal shape discrimination was enhanced (ability to
discern shapes at varying distances); and finally, a significant
percentage of the group reported an improvement in night driving.
As we age, our eyes degrade - a process that begins when we are
children. Harmful blue light from the sun, indoor lighting, and even
computers, along with poor diet, smoking, and high body mass index
can all affect our central vision - but there is good news, too.
A protective pigment in the back of the eye called macular
pigment absorbs harmful blue light that can adversely affect eye
health. Think of macular pigment as "internal sunglasses" that
protect the photoreceptors in the back of the eye - specifically the
cones, which are responsible for central vision, color, sharpness,
and sensitivity to bright light, among others.
The two key protective pigments in your internal sunglasses are
Zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin) and Lutein. In order to keep
the internal sunglasses thick and dense, it is important to
replenish Zeaxanthin, the predominant protective pigment in the
center of the macula where the concentration of cones is the
[to top of second
Unfortunately, Zeaxanthin is scarce in the average daily diet,
and most people do not consume enough kale, corn, collard greens,
spinach, or peppers to naturally replenish what the eyes need most.
For example, one would have to eat approximately 20 ears of corn to
get a recommended daily dosage of 8-10 mg of dietary Zeaxanthin.
Healthy macular pigment does more than just protect. It can help
adults with sensitivity to bright light, glare while driving at
night, seeing well in low light environments, and discernment
between contrasting colors.
The early AMD patients in the ZVF Study increased their MPOD
levels from an average of .33 to .51 - a direct correlation with
their visual improvement. MPOD or Macular Pigment Optical Density is
a measurement of the macular pigment in the back of the eye, and is
performed by many optometrists throughout the country.
Eye vitamins like the EyePromise brand of nutraceuticals help
rebuild macular pigment through unique nutritional formulas that
feature the highest levels of all natural, dietary Zeaxanthin,
derived from special paprika peppers.
"Education is the first step in fighting AMD," says Dennis
Gierhart, PhD, and co-founder of ZeaVision. "Science demonstrates
that low macular pigment is an important AMD risk factor, and it's
encouraging to know that dietary Zeaxanthin is helping people
maintain and enhance their vision."
AMD Awareness is about educating people about AMD risks and being
proactive to improve vision. Proper nutrition and supplementation
can greatly affect eye health and quality of life. Ask your EyeCare
Professional about having your macular pigment measured to protect
and enhance your central vision.
[Copy of article from