Qualitative Understanding and Nutritional Treatment Intervention for the Eye
Cataracts and age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are the leading causes of visual impairment and acquired blindness in the U.S.
Cataract extractions are the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S., accounting for more than 2 million procedures a year.
Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from early signs of AMD. Macular Degeneration creates a distortion or loss of central vision. The destruction or dysfunction of the macula is caused by the death of visual cells associated with the breakdown of the nutritional/disposal system in the eye. The retina then exhibits loss of macular pigment, leaking blood vessels, oxidative damage and less absorption of high-energy light waves when visual cells die. When MPOD (macular pigment optical density) levels are low, studies have shown the risk for AMD increases.
Both the severity and irreversibility of cataracts and AMD have generated interest in ways to either prevent or delay their progression.
Your macular pigment is made up of zeaxanthin and lutein, two important nutrients for maintaining healthy vision. Both these nutrients are found in the retina. While lutein exists mainly in the peripheral zone of the macula, zeaxanthin is highly concentrated in the center of the retina, the area responsible for fine detail and central vision. Both nutrients play a protective role in shielding the eye from oxidative stress and damaging blue light.
Most epidemiological evidence suggests that zeaxanthin and lutein help prevent AMD. Some very preliminary evidence suggests also that higher doses of these carotenoids might be able to help slow or stop the progression in those already diagnosed.
Nutrition is one promising means of protecting the eyes from cataracts and AMD. Given the positive association between nutrition and these diseases, it seems prudent for people to increase the amount of crucial antioxidants in their diet. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day provides more than 100 mg of Vitamin C. Eating two servings of nuts and seeds can provide 8-14 mg of Vitamin E (11.9 – 20.8 IU). However, the majority of people in the United States are not eating five servings of fruits and vegetable nor good sources of Vitamin E each day. Not only that, but Zeaxanthin is very scarce in the diet. You’d need to consume 20 ears of corn, or 10 cups of broccoli, or 12 orange peppers a day to get 20 mg of Zeaxanthin and Lutein. Most people simply cannot consume these quantities, so it makes sense to supplement.
QuantifEYE™ is a program that combines quick and easy testing to determine a baseline measurement of your MPOD levels. Testing of this kind was only available in a research facility until now.
If your MPOD score indicates low macular pigment, it is possible to increase your macular pigment through adequate diet and supplementation. If you’ve ever wondered whether a vitamin or supplement you take is actually working, the QuantifEYE device can show you with regularly scheduled testing.
This is a preventive program, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 21 gets a baseline measurement, so that those with low MPOD levels can be monitored.
This program offers a supplement that contains a professional formulation of the vitamins and nutrients you need to maintain healthy vision. Symptoms of Macular Degeneration may not appear until after you have the disease. Getting an early start on prevention can help to preserve your sight as you age.
Vision Care Consultants is on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to Macular Degeneration and Cataract prevention. We care about your vision and are proud to offer this new technology in our office. Call our optometrists in Saint Louis to schedule your appointment for an MPOD screening evaluation. Don’t take a “wait and see” approach with your sight… it’s too important.