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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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I am 48 years old and was diagonaised with Dry macular degeneration

Resolved Question:

I am 48 years old and was diagonaised with Dry macular degeneration approximately 4 years ago. My doctor checks the progession and it hasn't worsened. Symtoms I have experienced has only happened twice and straight lines appeared broken or zig-zaged. And both times lasted on and off for about three to four days. My doctor recommened I take the vison vitamin and eat spinach and sweet potatoes as much as possible. So I have been taking the vitamin (1 a day) for about 4 years and try and eat more vegtable etc. My question - Is there anything else I can be doing to try and stop the progession of this disease?
Crystal Brank
Athens, GA
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thanks for your question; it's a good one.


The things we know for sure that affect the course of macular degeneration are as follows:


1. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet and exercising regularly provide the best lifestyle protection against age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) worsening.


2. Taking the AREDS vitamin supplement that you are likely taking is also crucial to slowing the progression of vision loss and decreasing the incidence of severe vision loss from ARMD. However, it is important to take the supplement (# XXXXX pills and # XXXXX times per day) as it states on the supplement bottle; some people take less # XXXXX pills or take it less times per day than is recommended, but with an altered regimen, the efficacy of these vitamins may be suspect. Additionally, if you have ever smoked before, it is important to make sure that you're not taking an AREDS supplement with vitamin A or beta-carotene (those are synonyms) in it; this can increase your risk of lung cancer if you've smoked and are taking this vitamin.


3. Also, smoking increases your risk of worsening ARMD so stopping smoking would be important.


4. Lastly, protect your eyes from UV exposure by wearing sunglasses while outside in the sun.


Those are the only things that have been proven to affect the course of ARMD.


Does this information help address your concerns? Does this make sense? Do you have any other concerns that I haven't addressed?


I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need.


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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That is pretty much what my doctor has told me. I am a non-smoker. The vitamin I take is PreserVision (Lutein) and I will change to the recommended doseage. Is that the best vitamin I should take? And with this disease is it possible for it to stay the same for a long time?
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 5 years ago.
Preservation is an excellent choice. And yes, it is quite possible for the disease to stay stable for many years. That being said I would recommend that you still be examined by your eye doctor yearly. Does that help? Any other questions I can help you with?
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