Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease caused by the accumulation of cellular debris called drusen behind retina. (Fig. 1) This leads to the difficulty of reading, recognizing faces, driving or daily life. The symptoms don’t appear only with the cellular debris but bleeding from abnormal blood vessels grown under retina causes the symptoms. (Fig. 2)
At the beginning, some people experience that a part of straight line in central vision becomes wavy. When the disease progresses, it looks wavier at a lot of parts. At the end, the central vision is lost and becomes black. (Fig. 3)
It is difficult to notice because we usually look at things with both eyes and at the beginning the symptom appears on either right or left eye. It is important to look at things including straight lines such as book shelfs or tiles with one eye to check whether they look wavy or not.
A cause of the accumulation of cellular debris is aging. Another cause is ultraviolet rays so it is important to prevent it wearing sunglasses.
Recent researches discovered 4 nutrients which prevent AMD.
1. Vitamin C contained a lot in broccoli, pepper, lotus root, etc.
2. Vitamin E contained a lot in almond, squash, avocado, etc.
3. Zinc contained a lot in oyster, pork, sesame seeds etc.
4. Lutein contained a lot in green vegetables such as spinach, parsley or kale. Lutein exist in our body and especially a lot in retina in our eyes. Yellow pigment of Lutein has the characteristic that absorbs sunlight so it protects retina from ultraviolet rays. Aging decreases lutein in retina causing direct damages by ultraviolet rays.
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