Macular Degeneration (Age Related Macular Degeneration)
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that affects cells in the part of the eye called the retina, thereby causing changes in vision. In those with macular degeneration, images that usually appear clear and sharp often become blurred at first, and then as the disease progresses they can become distorted, enlarged, cloudy, dark or spotted.
The retina is the lining of nerves located at the back of the eyes that responds to detection of light. Nerves and cells that make up the retina help us interpret light from the environment by reflecting light wavelengths and turning them into sharp, focused images. The specific area of the retina that’s damaged due to macular degeneration is called the macula, located at the centre of the retina and responsible for forming “central vision,” or the images you see when looking straight ahead.
Because people over 60 years old tend to have this eye disorder most often, macular degeneration is commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two primary types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. The dry form is much more common, accounting for about 90 percent of all cases of macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration precedes the wet type, which is more severe and leads to worsened vision loss.
Understanding age-related macular degeneration:
• When the diseases progresses, it can become known as neovascular age-related macular degeneration, also called wet macular degeneration. Another type of advanced AMD is geographic atrophy, also sometimes called late-dry macular degeneration.
• When someone has dry macular degeneration, metabolic deposits (or end-products) collect under the retina and contribute to scarring and vision changes. This is the more common type of macular degeneration in which the light-sensitive cells of the macula slowly break down over time.
• Wet macular degeneration causes leaky blood vessels to grow abnormally into the retina, causing swelling and bleeding in the affected eye. This can cause either sudden loss of vision or a slow progression of macular degeneration symptoms depending on the patient. Although wet AMC is much less common, accounting for only about 10 percent of all AMD cases, the wet type is usually more serious and accountable for about 90 percent of all cases of legal blindness due to AMD.
Macular Degeneration Symptoms and Signs
Each patient responds differently to having macular degeneration. Some experience less severe macular degeneration symptoms and slowed loss of vision compared to others. It’s possible to retain close to normal vision for years even while having macular degeneration, however the disease is considered progressive, degenerative and usually gets worse with time.
Although it’s possible to have macular degeneration in both eyes, it’s also common for only one eye to be affected. When only one retina becomes damaged, the other might start to compensate for the loss in vision. When this is the case, it can be hard to tell that macular degeneration is developing until it progresses.
Macular degeneration symptoms can include:
• Blurred central vision, meaning usually blurriness appears in the center of one’s view when looking straight ahead.
• Over time the area that appears blurred can become larger or some spots might even appear blank.
• Straight lines becoming curved or distorted. Some experience colours becoming darker or less bright and vivid.
• Trouble with everyday activities like reading, making out faces, writing, typing or driving.
• In some cases of advanced macular degeneration, vision can be completely lost over time and permanent blindness can occur.
Macular Degeneration Symptoms Causes and Risk Factors
Macular degeneration forms due to inflammation, Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis (balance) and restore functionality. The noxious insults damage of interrelated tissues, nerves and cells in the eyes. The most important change to the eyes leading to vision changes is those involving the retina/macula cells. Doctors usually look for changes in retina (RPE) cell functions as an early and crucial marker that macular degeneration is developing.
The cause and development of AMD is multi-factorial, involving “a complex interaction of metabolic, functional, genetic and environmental factors.” That is why it is crucial to look at each individual as unique, and assess their “Big Picture of Health”. Both genetics and non-genetic (environmental or lifestyle) factors play major roles in the development of AMD, which means that just because you might have a family history, it doesn’t mean you’re helpless in protecting your vision. A 2012 report published in the Lancet states that the major risk factors for developing macular inflammation and macular degeneration include:
• Being over the age of 60. The risk of getting advanced age-related macular degeneration increases from 2 percent for those between the ages of 50–59 to about 30 percent for those over the age of 75.
• Cigarette smoking
• Suffering from nutritional deficiencies due to a poor diet or absorption/digestive problems. A highly processed diet contributes to accelerated aging and low antioxidant intake.
• Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, including markers like high blood pressure and fluctuating blood sugar levels
• Genetic factors or having a family history of vision loss
• Markers of high levels of inflammation and oxidative damage, which causes changes in lipid, angiogenic and extracellular matrix pathways
• UV light damage from too much sunlight exposure
The common denominator between all these risk factors and AMD is inflammation. Inflammation is a cellular response to factors that challenge the homeostasis of cells and tissues. The key to healing AMD is to find and address the underlying triggers to inflammation in each person.
Conventional Treatment for Macular Degeneration Symptoms
Ophthalmologists diagnose macular degeneration in patients by first ruling out other causes of vision changes, such glaucoma (caused by damage to the optic nerve) or astigmatism. Accurate diagnosis is made through a combination of a clinical examination and performing tests, such as retinal photography, angiography and optical coherence tomography. A growing field of genetic testing also now provides opportunities for improved risk assessment in patients with family histories of AMD. Molecular diagnosis and clinical testing of genetic variants are now being used by many doctors for early stage AMD diagnoses, management and treatment.
Both eyes must be tested separately for AMD since only one might have changes. Similar symptoms of macular degeneration might be found in patients with other eye problems, so a proper diagnosis, as well as distinguishing which type of AMD a patient has (wet versus dry), is important for treating the condition correctly.
Currently there is no “cure” for macular degeneration offered by modern medicine, only ways to help prevent the disease from occurring in the first place in addition to strategies that help manage macular degeneration symptoms.
The Health Transformer Approach
Meta Health Screen
In every case of AMD there is an underlying cause…something individual to each person. If at one time you didn’t have these symptoms and now do obvious something has changed for the worst in your system which has led to chronic inflammation and these symptoms. AMD is merely a symptom of the underlying cause. To treat AMD effectively and naturally we need to detect and address the root cause which has created the disease creating context and created AMD.
In this centre we specialize in root cause diagnosis of any health condition using our state of the art Meta Health Screen.
Abnormality in any of these areas will easily be picked up during the Health Scan. We also examine your entire lifestyle, sleep quality and any emotional/psychological contributors to your condition.
In-Depth Consultation regarding your results.
Once this information is gathered we offer you an in-depth consultation to discuss your results, during which we discuss what has been revealed by the scan, where and how this has arisen, and how to remove or transform it, and reboot your system. I believe it is very important for each person to understand what has been going on in their body, how the condition has developed, and how to unravel and resolve it naturally. My intention is not just to teach you about your condition, but more importantly to empower you with understanding in order that you are able to take back control of your health.
Individually tailored Treatment Plan
Together we create an individualized tailored treatment plan for you. This may include some or all of there: a gentle detoxification protocol, dietary changes, specific supplements, life style changes, exercise, etc tailored to your specific needs. In the majority of cases treatment can be implemented by you at home without the need for repeated visits to the centre; however Health Coaching and support is built in to this package to assist you through your treatment.
Once on the prescribed treatment, some clients choose to support their system with other therapies toastiest healing. This is not essential but will speed up your progress. These include;
NLP coaching…and SO much more.
all of which are on offer at this centre.
I am delighted to be able to report that the results our client’s achieve with this approach are outstanding and lasting in the vast majority of cases.