Are you 60 years or over and having trouble with your vision?

You may have the early stages of macular degeneration (MD).

MD is a group of degenerative diseases of the retina, a light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye, and is typically age-related.

Although painless, MD causes progressive loss of central vision, adversely affecting a person’s ability to drive, read, recognise faces, and to see in fine detail.

There are two types of MD – dry and wet. Dry MD is more common and less severe. About 90% of MD sufferers will be affected by the dry version.

Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina and a common early indication of dry MD, detected mostly in people aged 60 and over. Your eye care professional can identify drusen during a comprehensive dilated eye examination.

New therapies have been introduced which are directed towards vascular endothelial growth factor, a potentially efficient treatment option for the wet form of MD, but not for dry.

However, several studies reveal that taking supplements orally is beneficial in preventing progression of the disease. High-dose formulas can contain antioxidants, zinc, and other supplements. MD vitamins are not a cure and cannot return vision already lost, but can delay late form of MD if detected early.

Slowing down dry MD from the intermediate stage to the advanced will save the vision of many. There are several formulations of these vitamins now available without a prescription.

If you are considering taking vitamins for MD, discuss this with both your eye care professional and GP to ensure you take the right vitamins in the right amounts. It is vital these vitamins do not interfere with other medication you may be taking.