The leading reason folks over 50 loss their vision even go blind is from age related macular degeneration (AMD). The ‘macula’ is in back of the retina where vision is keenest, it allows us to filter damaging blue light from smartphones, computers, LED screens and increases our ability to handle glare. There are 2 types of AMD – @90% are dry (less damaging) or wet (growth of abnormal blood vessels in sub surface) worst type! AMD has caused visual impairment in an estimated 1.7 million of the 34 million Americans over age 65, according to the National Eye Institute.
As we age our body ‘degenerates’ almost everywhere including our eyes resulting in distortion of vision and loss of central vision and commonly in both eyes blindness can occur.
Yes age is a big risk factor but also race, ethnicity, smoking, sunlight exposure and diet! Less common in blacks and Hispanics with hereditary possibly playing a role. Dietary nutrients as a factor has been extensively studied (AREDS -1, 2)*.
A diet that includes foods high in these 2 chemical: broccoli, spinach green beans corn baby carrots would have to be monstrous in volume daily amount (10mg lutein, 2mg zeaxanthin) necessary would have us eating daily 8 cups uncooked broccoli, 11 cups green beans -you get the point. Dietary nutrients as a formula (AREDS -1, 2)* is prominently displayed on OTC preparations. Retinal specialists do not recommend any brand but suggest supplements of: Vitamin C, E, zinc, cooper, lutein and zeaxanthin must be included. You are already on a high antioxidant diet high in Vitamin C, E, B carotene, I hope.
Ask your eye health professional if they have a ‘MPOD’ that measures the amount lutein/zeaxanthin in your eyes and an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) that maps the sub-surface of the retina to ID AMD. It would be good to find out before you loose central vision in one eye! So demand an evaluation.
*doses used in the study were 5 – 15 x the recommended daily dose (RDA). By now I hope you know the RDA is a dated figure.