Are you at risk for Canada’s leading cause of blindness? What can you do to protect your vision?
What is AMD (age-related macular degeneration)?
Macular degeneration is a condition of the eye that affects adults as they age. The condition causes damage to the retina which can result in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula). Macular degeneration can make reading, watching television or recognizing faces difficult, often leaving only enough peripheral vision to conduct basic activities of daily life. There are two forms of AMD – wet and dry. The dry form accounts for over 80% of AMD cases. While sight-affecting conditions such as cataracts and diabetes are more well-known, AMD is actually the major cause of vision loss in Canada and affects over 1 million Canadians.1
What are the symptoms of AMD?
The most common symptoms of AMD are:
• Blurred vision
• Shadows or missing areas of vision
• Distorted vision (example: grids of straight lines appearing wavy with blank parts)
• Difficulty distinguishing between dark colours and between light colours
• Slow recovery of visual functions after exposure to bright light
Who is affected by AMD?
As its name indicates, AMD is “age-related”, meaning that as we age, there is an increased chance of experiencing this condition. Over one third of Canadians between the ages of 55 and 74 develop AMD and with the incidence climbing to 40% for Canadians over the age of 75.1 Unfortunately, the majority of Canadians are not aware of AMD or the risk it poses. A recent survey indicated that Canadians fear losing their eyesight even more than the use of their legs or hearing. Despite the importance of eyesight, 70% of those polled were not aware of AMD risks.2
What causes AMD?
The leading risk factors of AMD include genetics, aging, smoking and other oxidants such as pollution, exposure to solar radiation, use of photosensitizing drugs and insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables.
What can we do to protect our vision from AMD?
What can we do to reduce our risk of vision loss? Avoiding smoking, reducing our exposure to pollution, lowering stress levels, wearing UV protective sunglasses and making sure we eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help. Another way to reduce our risk is through additional supplementation of vitamins and carotenoids. Studies on the prevention of dry AMD through antioxidant supplementation have shown that a specific combination of vitamins can reduce incidence of AMD in high risk patients by 25% (AREDS – Age-Related Eye Disease Study). Further studies have shown that a daily of intake of at least 10 mg of the carotenoid lutein can significantly improve vision and slow progression of AMD (LAST – Lutein Antioxidant Supplement Trial). People at a high risk for AMD or experiencing AMD symptoms should consult their doctor, optometrist or health professional about taking nutritional supplements containing ingredients found in the AREDS and LAST studies.
Vision Supreme: Canada’s leading science-based eye supplement
Vision Supreme by Health First® is the only formula in Canada designed to meet both the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) and LAST (Lutein Antioxidant Supplement Trial) clinical trial potencies. These trials studied the prevention of macular degeneration and improvement of visual function through antioxidant nutrients.
Vision Supreme features:
•AREDS antioxidant vitamins – beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc & copper in the amounts recommended by the AREDS study.
•LAST carotenoids – Lutein exceeding the requirements of the LAST study, along with the related carotenoid zeaxanthin.
•Natural plant-based antioxidants – Berries rich in proanthocyanidins, goji and bilberry, may have potential in promoting eye health.
Vision Supreme usage information:
Recommended use or purpose: Helps delay progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Helps preserve vision. Source of vitamin A to help maintain eyesight and help in the development and maintenance of night vision. Lutein with Zeaxanthin helps promote eye health, including the macula, retina, and lens, for people with AMD and cataracts through its antioxidant properties. Helps to maintain eyesight in conditions (associated with sunlight damage) such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Directions: Adults take two tablets daily with a full glass of water or as directed by a health care practitioner. Take a few hours
before or after taking other medications.
2. www.cnib.ca/en/your-eyes/eye-conditions/amd/Default. aspx