The Macula and Severe Myopia
Severe myopia with increasing elongation of the eyeball as we age is a degenerative condition resulting in damage to the macula, cornea, walls of the eye, possible detachment and other complications.
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Complementary treatment for macular degeneration may be helpful for slowing or reducing the development of this condition.
- MMD most closely resembles advanced macular degeneration. Researchers have found that treating macular degeneration with
essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory nutrients have been helpful in slowing or preventing development from dry to the wet form of macular degeneration.
Some of the nutrients that will be important for patients with myopic macular degeneration are:
- Vitamin D3 - Vitamin D has been found to be especially helpful in cases of macular degeneration where the risk factor due to genetics is large. Vitamin D reduces inflammation and reduces creation of extra blood vessels; both are associated causative factors in MMD.1
- Carotenoids - Lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin are essential antioxidants for the health of the retina and macula; their value has been established by extensive research.2, 3, 4
- Omega -3 fatty acids - Like the carotenoids, extensive research has demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids support the health of the macula and are able to regulate the formation of blood vessels.5
- Bilberry and gingko biloba are also recommended as they also help support the health of the eye by strengthening circulation and supporting night vision.
- Resveratrol helps strengthen blood vessels and reduces inflammation.
- Hyaluronic acid helps strengthen connective tissue.
- Lifestyle: As in macular degeneration these lifestyle considerations are essential.
- Stop smoking - Smoking significantly increases the risk of severe development of MMD.
- Exercise is the single-most important thing you can do for most health conditions including virtually all vision conditions.
- Drugs: Drugs can increase the risk of macular degeneration and MMD.
Surgical treatments have evolved through pioneer grafting with donor tissue, to surgical reinforcement6 and buckling surgery (partially effective)7 to a modified version of reinforcement.8
Many of the same drugs used for macular degeneration are used with varying degrees of success and, based on the AREDS I and II research, nutritional support is helpful. Laser treatment and photodynamic therapy (limited effectiveness) are also used.
1. Association between Vitamin D status and Age-Related Macular Degeneration by Genetic Risk, 2015.
2. Dietary Antioxidants and the Long-term Incidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, 2008.
3. Zeaxanthin and Visual Function Study.
4. Astaxanthin Helps Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Eye Fatigue and More
5. Cytochrome P450-generated metabolites derived from omega-3 fatty acids attenuate neovascularization, 2014.
6. A.A. Synder, et al, A simplified technique for surgical treatment of degenerative myopia, American Journal of Opthalmology, August, 1972.
7. Brian Ward, PhD, MD, Degenerative Myopia: a Review of its Nature and Current Treatment, mvrf.org, 2011.
8. M. Chen, et al., The efficacy and safety of modified Snyder-Thompson posterior scleral reinforcement in extensive high myopia of Chinese children, Graefes Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, November, 2013.