Dry age related macular degeneration still has no known actual cause including a deficiency of any one nutrient.
However, there are certain nutrients that can be absolutely critical to this very dangerous eye disease.
Although it is not quite as common as cataracts, it is a very close second and is considered to be the second leading cause of blindness especially in people over sixty years of age.
However, it can and does affect all age groups and if it is not treated, it can very easily lead to the wet form of this disease which is extremely dangerous.
Dry age related macular degeneration is best described as a chronic eye disease that causes the loss of vision in the most critical point of your vision process; the center of your field of vision.
If you were to picture your eyes as a camera, the sheet of extremely light sensitive cells that line the back of your eyeballs would be considered the film in that camera.
These cells, also referred to as your retina, main job is to capture images that you see that are focused by the lens of your eyes where it than converts these images to nerve impulses.
Once they have been converted, it sends these images directly to your brain.
Directly in the middle of this film, or the retina, is an area that is referred to as the macula.
It is covered with very dense cells that help to provide your brain with the very fine and detailed color shaped images as it receives more focused light that any other part of your eye.
Light is absolutely critical to your vision, but it does have one downside; it can cause damage to your eyes.
Any type of light that is focused on your retina day after day can interfere with the oxygen in your eye which in turn may start to cause some damages.
It can lead to an accumulation of waste materials as well as very small abnormal growths of blood vessels under your retina.
If these blood vessels begin to leak, this condition has taken the next step from the dry form to the wet form.
Dry age related macular degeneration does not cause total blindness but it can have a huge impact on your quality of life as it can very easily cause both blurred vision as well as blind spots.
When this does start to occur, it can affect your reading, your ability to drive, as well as your ability to actually recognize objects.
The symptoms or the changes in your vision with dry age related macular degeneration will start to develop very slowly.
When they first start to appear, it may seem like you just have something in your eye that you need to rub or clear out but they will eventually lead to other changes.
The first of these changes may be a need for either brighter and more direct light when you are reading.
Or it may be the complete opposite, where you will have a very difficult time adjusting to any type of low light levels.
Everyone has this problem when they first walk into a very dark theater, but your eyes will react very quickly to this change.
As dry age related macular degeneration progresses, this adaption will become much more difficult.
The next set of changes will be a difficult time focusing on printed words in a newspaper, a book, or even a computer as the words will start to become blurry.
You will also start to see a gradual decrease of the intensity levels when trying to focus as well as a loss of color intensity.
Your vision may also become hazy in spots, and then seem to remain that way for long periods of time to the point that you start to have blind spots.
If it reaches an advanced start without treatment, you may also start to see almost hallucinating types of shapes or visions.
Although dry age related macular degeneration does not have a known actual cause, there are several factors that place you at a much higher degree of risk of contracting this disease.
The first is age, as it can start to affect you anywhere between the ages of 50 to 60 years old, as well as any type of a family history of the disease.
If you are Caucasian, you are also more at risk than any other race, but much like the cause, no one seems to understand why.
Females are also much more likely to develop this disease than males, as well as smokers.
However, the list does not end there as obesity also seems to be a risk factor, as does both high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
There is also one other risk factor that is quite interesting; a poor diet. If you eat a diet that does not include a lot of fruits and vegetables, you are also at a higher degree of risk of developing this disease.
Dry age related macular degeneration may have no actual known cause, but what is known is that there are several multivitamin products that may help, as well as certain nutrients.
Icaps and Ocuvite are both multivitamin products that are available in any health food store.
They have been found to be extremely effective at slowing down the progression of this disease as well as reversing it in some cases.
However, several individual nutrients including Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and the minerals zinc and selenium may also help in the battle.
Beta-carotene is the isomeric form of carotene that is found in several plants, especially carrots, and it is converted into vitamin A in your body.
Carotene possesses several antioxidant properties and a deficiency of this nutrient can very easily lead to drying in your eyes.
Two of the most critical signs that you have a deficiency of this vitamin are night blindness as well as trouble recovering from bright lights.
The antioxidant properties of carotene are considered to be extremely effective in stopping the chain reaction damage caused by free radicals that cause these damages.
Carrots have been linked to healthy eyes for several years and this is the reason why.
Vitamin C is also a very effective antioxidant and is found in high concentrations in your eyes, and it is believed to help shield your retinal cells from any type of oxygen generated damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin E, also a very powerful anti-oxidant, is incorporated into the fatty membranes that surround your cells.
It is especially effective in your retina as it helps to dampen the reactions between light and oxygen that may interfere with your retinal cells.
Zinc is found in very high concentrations in your retina and it plays an important role in the metabolism of your retina.
Selenium, also a mineral, helps with your body’s production of glutathione peroxidase, which is a protective enzyme that is found in several parts of your body including your eyes.
Dry age related macular degeneration can be a very troubling progression of eye problems that can lead to the wet form which can cause blindness.
However, if you feed your body with the correct nutrients, you may not only stop this beast, you may also be able to reverse some of the affects.