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What is Macular Degeneration?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a disease of the Macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision.  It is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults.  The highest risk factors to develop ARMD include:

Macular DegenerationCaucasian race, smoking, adults over age 50, and family history.  Macular degeneration affects both distance and close vision.  As a result it can significantly impact one’s ability to perform activities that we do everyday such as:  driving a car, reading a book, or watching TV.  The exact causes of ARMD are not fully understood.

Treatment

The landmark study called AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) has shown that dietary supplementation of vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, along with zinc may reduce the impact of ARMD in some people.  This treatment did not appear to benefit those without ARMD, or within the first stages of the condition.  The study found that those who had moderate ARMD could reduce their risk of the disease progressing to advanced stages by about 25%.