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Spring is Time for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness

fruit and green leafy vegetables; avoiding foods with trans fats; exercising and controlling your blood pressure and weight.”

Other risk reducers include:

? The National Eye Institute’s (NEI) Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that high levels of antioxidants and zinc can reduce the risk of vision loss by about 25 percent in patients with “intermediate” AMD in one or both eyes and those with “advanced” AMD in only one eye. (Smokers and ex-smokers should not use beta carotene because studies have shown an association with lung cancer and beta carotene in smokers.) A new study will evaluate the effects of lutein and omega-3 fatty acids.

? Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) drugs inhibit the development of unwanted blood vessels that cause wet AMD, and these agents help prevent further visual loss and even improve vision. At the current time, these are injected directly into the eye. Two drugs have already been approved by the FDA, Macugen and Lucentis, and the makers of several others are looking to gain FDA approval.

? Conventional laser therapy and photodynamic therapy are also treatments for wet AMD and have been approved by the FDA based on studies by the National Eye Institute (NEI).

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