5 steps to maximize your vision with Age related macular degeneration (AMD)

Learn to Optimize Your Vision with AMD in 20 minutes or Less

thE 5 steps

1) Learn the facts about AMD

2) Learn what you can change to decrease the risk of developing or losing vision from AMD

3) Optimize your eye health through diet and supplementation

4) Monitor for changes

5) Treatment for AMD and optimizing your outcome

Learn about AMD

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration?

AMD refers to the formation of age-related changes in the retina in patients 50 years and older. The characteristic findings are the presence of deposits of cellular debris underneath the retina called drusen.

There is a wide spectrum of AMD, ranging from changes that never affect the quality of vision to severe vision loss resulting in legal blindness. Β 

There are two main categories of AMD, dry and wet. It is common for both eyes to have different types, or stages of AMD. The treatment is tailored to the type of AMD the patient has in each eye, and overall (see below).

Early Dry AMD

Characterized by a few small drusen. There are no visual symptoms at this stage. The main focus of treatment is addressing risk factors for the progression to more severe forms AMD. More on this below.

Intermediate Dry AMD

Characterized by intermediate to large sized drusen. There are typically not symptoms at this stage, unless the drusen are located directly underneath the part of the retina responsible for central vision. The main focus of treatment is addressing risk factors, nutritional supplementation, and monitoring for signs of wet macular degeneration. We will teach you to optimize each of these factors in the next section.

Advanced Dry AMD

Characterized by the loss of cells in and around the part of the retina which is responsible for the central vision. Patients will typically notice an area just next to their central vision in which they can't see (black or blurry). In some patients, this may progress to involve the central vision, leading to severe central vision loss. Patients do not lose their peripheral vision from this condition. The main focus of treatment is risk factor modification, nutritional supplementation, and monitoring for signs of wet macular degeneration.


Characterized by the formation of new blood vessels that leak and/or bleed. Patients notice new onset distortion in the central vision or loss of vision (see example below). Wet macular degeneration is treated with intravitreal injections. It is important that the other eye is monitored for signs of wet macular degeneration as well. The main focus of treatment is risk factor modification, nutritional supplementation, and monitoring for signs of wet macular degeneration in the other eye.

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Risk Factors For the Development or Progression of AMD


Green leafy vegetables and fish are high in carotenoids. Eat a diet heavy in green leafy vegetables and fish to decrease your risk of developing or losing vision from AMD. Low carotenoid intake increases the risk of developing AMD by 43% compared to high carotenoid intake.

UV and Blue light

Blue light damages the retina. Use polarized or amber tinted sunglasses while outdoors for prolonged periods of time.


Diets high in simple sugars increase the risk of developing or worsening of AMD. It is recommended to eat a low glycemic diet (e.x wheat bread, brown rice, ect.)


Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing or worsening AMD. Maintain a healthy weight.


Smokers have a 2.8 times increased risk of AMD. It is important for smokers to stop smoking in an effort to decrease their risk of developing or worsening AMD.

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Optimizing Your Retinal Health Through Diet and Nutritional Supplementation​

There are three main dietary components to consider: carotenoid consumption, omega-3 fatty acids, and a diet with a low glycemic index.

Lutein and Xeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in the retina. They are most plentiful in green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens. It is critical to have a high dietary intake of carotenoids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high concentration in fish. High dietary intake is associated with a 4 times decrease in the risk of developing wet AMD.

Glycemic index – The glycemic index refers to how carbohydrates are processed in the body. A high glycemic food is one which is rapidly digested, and thus causes a rapid spike in blood sugar. Studies have demonstrated retinal damage in mice fed a high glycemic index diet, which was stopped, or even reversed upon switching to a low glycemic index diet.

Eat Right For Your Sight is an excellent book for those who are interested in maximizing their vision through their diet.


The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) demonstrated a 25% reduction in the development of advanced AMD in patients who took their vitamin formulation.

There are many vitamins which advertise they are for eye health, but do not contain the correct formulation. Vitamins that contain the same formula as the AREDS2 study will typically say AREDS2 on the bottle. If not, it is important to verify that the ingredients and quantity of each component is the same as that used in the study.Β Three excellent options are listed below.Β 

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Premium AREDS2 multivitamin


AREDS2 Formulation Vitamin.

Systane ICaps

AREDS2 Formulation Vitamin

Monitor For Changes

It is critical that patients with AMD who have dry AMD monitor for conversion to wet AMD. Early detection and treatment leads to better vision with treatment

How to monitor?

Use an Amsler Grid (seen on the right). Cover one eye, focus on the black dot in the center, and note if there any of the lines are wavy or missing. Repeat with the other eye. If there is a new change, report it to your physician immediately.

The example on the right demonstrates new onset distortion and area of blurring due to new onset wet AMD.

Earlier Detection, Better vision - Advances in Home Monitoring

Foresee Home had a 94% rate of preserving driving vision (20/40 or better) at wet AMD diagnosis compared to 62% with standard methods of detection (amsler grid).

Most people pay 0%. It is covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies

Who is eligible for Foresee Home?

Patients with dry intermediate AMD in one or both eyes. Vision 20/60 or better.

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Treatment for Wet AMD Optimizing Your Vision

Early Detection and Treatment

Immediately call your doctor if you notice signs of wet AMD. You should receive a prompt evaluation and treatment, do not delay your appointment​


The treatment for wet macular degeneration is typically an intravitreal (eye injection) monthly for 3 months. The injections are then typically continued at each visit, but the length between visits increased, as long as the macular degeneration is responding well to the medication. Missing visits may result in permanent vision loss. If a decrease in vision or new distortion is noted before the next visit, call your doctor to be seen promptly.

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Learn to maximize your vision with our free e-book

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