Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)
Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is an eye condition that affects the eyes as you get older. ARMD is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK in patients over fifty years of age. It affects the macula, the round area at the center of the retina which is solely responsible for colour and definition. This is the reason why it can be so debilitating and life changing. ARMD can become noticeable in one eye but usually affects the other eye at some stage.
Dry ARMD is the most common form (90%) of the condition and develops slowly, eventually leading to loss of central vision. There is at present no treatment or cure. Wet ARMD is caused by leaky blood vessels inside the eye and is less common (10%) but causes more rapid loss of vision. This type can be treated by injections which slow and can stabilise the condition. Today in the UK, there are up to 500,000 people with ARMD. The chances of getting ARMD increase as you get older.
What causes Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)?
The exact causes of ARMD are still unknown. Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure and poor diet. Dietary supplements such as I Caps or Macushield have been shown to slow down the onset of ARMD. Indeed, recent research (the AREDS study) has shown that vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and dietary copper and zinc supplements can help reduce the risk of developing ARMD. Regular exercise has also been found to be beneficial in lowering the risk of ARMD.
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