Macular Degeneration is the condition in which the cells of the macula – the tiny central spot in the retina responsible for sharp vision – deteriorate progressively, resulting in loss of central vision and leaving only peripheral vision. It occurs in people aged 50 and over, and is the main cause of age-related blindness in the world.
10 Effective Natural Treatments For Macular Degeneration
It may not be possible to reverse the condition once it sets in, but doctors believe that it can be controlled or its progress slowed by natural remedies. Specifically, natural treatments help to improve day time vision, preserve night vision, and prevent the rupture of blood vessels in the eye. However, make sure to use such remedies along with an approved treatment program.
The following herbs and substances have been shown in studies to be effective against macular degeneration by aiding the health and function of the macula.
This wonder plant has an amazing effect on eyesight, particularly in the early stage of macular degeneration. It is a strong antioxidant, strengthens the blood vessels, prevents their rupture, and enables good blood circulation which improves oxygen supply to the eye tissues.
For deriving its benefits, 2 cups of gingko tea every day or 120 mg of its extract daily are recommended.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
This is another amazing plant that is an excellent natural remedy for a host of eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is rich in phytochemicals that have an antioxidant effect, that is, they protect the eye from the damaging effects of free radicals. Also, they strengthen the blood vessels and tissues of the eyes, and improve blood circulation.
Consumption of bilberry promotes production of the pigment rhodopsin which is crucial for night time vision. In fact, during World War II, fighter pilots were given bilberry jam to improve vision for night flying!
180 mg of bilberry along with 6 mg of lutein is considered a good natural remedy.
They are the richest plant sources of beta carotene and are full of antioxidants. In Chinese medicine they have been used for thousands of years for treating bad vision and other eye problems. Considering their exceptional qualities, Goji berries need to have a better reputation than carrots for their beneficial effect on eyesight.
Juicy and delicious, they can be consumed as a drink or as a sweet dried snack.
Called the ‘Tree of Life’ or ‘Miracle Plant’, Moringa is the nutrition powerhouse in the plant kingdom. It is loaded with nearly 90+ nutrients, 46 antioxidants and all essential amino acids that are important for cell function. Dried Moringa leaves contain 14 times the calcium of milk, 9 times the iron of spinach, 4 times the potassium of bananas, 4 times the fibre of oats, 2 times the vitamin A of carrots, and 2 times the protein of yoghurt. It is one of the richest plant sources of Vitamin A. It is also rich in Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 (Pyrodixine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Tocopherol) and Vitamin K.
All these nutrients are required by patients of macular degeneration. Potassium reduces the risk of high blood pressure which is believed to be a factor in developing the disease. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. High doses of antioxidants and zinc have been proven to stop or slow the advancement of macular degeneration. Hence, Moringa leaf extract is extremely beneficial for treating macular degeneration.
Carotenoids Lutein & Zeaxanthin
These nutrients prevent oxidative damage by free radicals, absorb the blue and near-ultraviolet light that is harmful for the macula, and improve its overall health and function. Lutein is believed to increase pigmentation of the macular retinal cells.
These compounds are present in eggs, dark leafy green vegetables, corn, squash, orange/yellow bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, oranges, mangoes, melons, and kiwi. 6 mg of lutein may be taken daily for best results; this amount can be had by eating five servings of leafy vegetables a week. 3 mg of zeaxanthin may be taken daily with a meal.
Vitamins A, C, E And Zinc
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study has found that high dosage of a complex containing Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc results in a 25% less chance of developing advanced macular degeneration in patients suffering from the early stage of the disease.
Vitamin A is crucial for cell repair and growth. Its intake protects eye tissues and helps maintain sharp vision. Natural sources are orange/yellow and green plants like spinach, kale, lettuce, collards, alfalfa, carrot, pumpkin, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, apricot, wheat grass, spirulina, animal and fish liver, eggs, and dairy products.Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and together with bioflavonoids it zaps free radicals. Moreover, they maintain the health of the tissues and blood vessels of the eyes. Citrus fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C while red, blue and purple fruits and vegetables, such as eggplant, tomatoes, berries, apples, plums, etc. contain bioflavonoids.
Vitamin E has a protective effect on the retina and can repair initial damage to the macula caused by excessive sunlight. Nuts, seeds, oats, avocados, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils (such as soybean, sunflower, canola, and corn) and dairy products are rich natural sources of this vitamin.Zinc is an antioxidant, and studies have shown that it protects the macula from damage by free radicals. 30 mg taken daily along with 2 mg of copper is beneficial. Natural sources are whole grains, brown rice, cheese, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, sardines, duck, lean red meat and turkey.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are very important for the health and functioning of eyes. Rich sources are: fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, canola oil, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Grape Seed Or Pine Bark
They help the cells of the macula adjust to changes in oxygen levels, and they also reduce sensitivity to glare and bright light. 200 mg of an extract of either of the two have the required effect.
The accumulation of heavy metals and toxic substances in the body like mercury, lead and aluminum is related to oxidative damage, poor eye health and vision deterioration. Detoxification through the daily juicing of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables – spinach, collards, celery, kale, parsley, leeks, cabbage, wheat grass, ginger, garlic, beets, lemon, apples, grapes and raspberries – results in better supply of nutrients and oxygen to the macula and eye tissues, and hence clearer vision.
Water also helps to flush out toxins and keep eyes healthy. Drinking a glass of water every two hours is recommended to have the desired effect.
Things To Avoid
The following foods and substances may neutralize the beneficial effects of natural treatments, and increase the risk of developing macular degeneration.Caffeine and soft drinks; trans-fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils; man-made fats like corn and safflower oil; deep-fried foods full of saturated fats and cholesterol; diet foods containing aspartame; foods containing MSG, a retinal toxin; excess alcohol; smoking – contains cyanide, a retinal toxin.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.