AMD or age-related macular degeneration affects approximately 800,000 to 1 million people in France. This figure is tending to increase as life expectancy increases. Only 1 to 2% of the 50-year-old population is affected by the disease. One in four people in the 70 to 80 age group are affected and one in two people over 80. AMD is the leading cause of visual impairment in industrialised countries. But it is not a fatality. To understand and prevent AMD with antioxidants like Carbon 60, see instead.
What is AMD?
AMD is a degenerative disease of the macula. This central area of the retina allows people to read, recognise faces or even write. It is characterised by a progressive loss of central vision, but rarely causes blindness. It can occur from the age of 50. There are two forms of AMD.
- Dry or atrophic AMD is the most commonly encountered. Its progression is slow, but unavoidable.
- Wet or exudative AMD can be fulminant. Its growth varies from a few weeks to a few years.
What causes AMD?
Aging is the primary trigger for AMD. But there are other levers involved in its development.
- Smoking: smoking 20 cigarettes a day increases the risk of AMD by 2.5 times.
- Gender: women are more affected than men.
- Heredity, eye colour, high blood pressure, exposure to light, obesity: these factors also seem to have an impact on AMD risk.
What are the early symptoms of AMD?
It's a disease that moves at a snail's pace. Are you part of the population at risk? Pay close attention to the warning signs.
Do you need stronger light to read or write? Or perhaps you perceive contrasts less well? Do straight lines crinkle in front of your eyes or a dark spot appears in the centre of your vision?
You need stronger light to read or write?
Consult an ophthalmologist right away: only a fundus examination can accurately confirm whether or not you have AMD.
How to live with AMD?
Loss of visual acuity due to AMD requires you to make lifestyle adjustments.
No longer drive. Although peripheral vision remains operational, this activity becomes dangerous for you and others. On the other hand, you can continue to maintain some independence such as living, dressing or doing your hair on your own.
Educate your low vision to develop peripheral vision and compensate for the loss of central vision.
Setting up your indoor space also preserves your independence:
- Hide electrical wires;
- Add visual and tactile cues to make it easier to get around and do your daily tasks;
- Use low-voltage light bulbs that are more comfortable for reading and writing;
- Favour devices or media with large print.
What are the treatments for AMD?
To date, there is no cure for AMD. Nevertheless, solutions exist to slow the progression of the exudative form of the disease.
- Anti-VEGF injections inside the eye. Its outcome is best when administered within 10 days of AMD diagnosis.
- Argon or krypton laser treatment. It destroys the neovessels responsible for vision loss.
- The placement of a molecule that blocks the action of a brain protein called "Slit". The latter contributes to the proliferation of neovessels. This remedy is still in the experimental stage.
Other treatments such as photocoagulation or photodynamic therapy, or PDT, are also used at different stages of the disease.
How to prevent AMD?
For people over the age of 55, an annual fundus examination can detect macular degeneration as early as possible. Eliminating smoking or adopting a diet containing omega 3 and antioxidants also helps to reduce the risk. These substances help to fight the formation of free radicals, prevent cell ageing and limit inflammation.
DMLA: 4 types of food to focus on
- The carrots, apricots, mangoes, papayas, tomatoes, but also spinach, parsley, broccoli, etc. are loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant precursor to vitamin A. Some of these foods also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These are components of yellow pigments found in the macula. They protect the eyes against AMD and cataracts.
- Citrus, kiwi or green leafy vegetables such as cabbage are bursting with vitamin C. They prevent the cornea and lens from oxidation.
- Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel or even herring contain omega 3. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are one of the constituents of cell membranes. They contribute to the hydration of the eyes and protect them from AMD.
- Vegetable oils such as rapeseed, flax or walnut oil are also rich in omega 3. They can partially neutralize the omega 6 found in sunflower oil, red meat or even cold cuts.
- The vegetable oils are also rich in omega 3.
Food supplements to preserve the macula
In 2015, researchers from INSERM in Clermont-Ferrand published an article in the journal PLOS One (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0128395) on the benefits of omega 3 and antioxidants for the retina. In particular, they demonstrated on rats that a cocktail of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper can reduce the progression of AMD by 25%. Dietary supplements containing these substances are available commercially.
Such as the Canola.
Such as carbon 60 or C60.
This is the most powerful antioxidant known. Made from graphite, it can donate 180 times more electrons than vitamin C. It helps to effectively fight the destruction of collagen by free radicals. Taking C60 in AMD would allow you to feel an appreciable improvement after 2 to 3 months.
C60 is mixed in olive, coconut, avocado or oleic sunflower oil. This is the best way to distribute it throughout the body.
AMD is a degenerative disease with no cure. But with a better lifestyle, it is possible to slow its progression and live better:
- Smoke less;
- Eat foods that contain antioxidants and omega 3 such as fruits and vegetables;
- Take dietary supplements like Carbon 60 to increase immune capacity.