----- Original Message -----From: MichaelSent: Saturday, December 25, 2004 1:18 PMSubject: [medicalrenaissance] macular degeneration--Drive Time MedicalEight hundred thousand Australians have macular degeneration according to the latest edition of Drive Time Medical in an interview with a Retinal Specialist . This is an epidemic!! One hundred thousand are in the late stages Medical research he said has found that vegetable oils make it worse but not olive oil The advice is to cut down butter and avoid common vegetable oilsThe Specialist said family history implies a huge risk and preventive strategies are important here as they are for early signs with visual loss and spots in the eyes called drusen spots. Prevention is exercise ,life style change and weight loss diet for obesity,lowering of blood pressure and a diet containing nuts and fish similar to prevention for heart disease .However he does not specify which or how many nuts (I dread to think of them all taking peanuts )and he recommends 2 to 3 fish dishes a week which is in fact in my opinion inadequate If there are early signs eg drusen spots and slight visual loss the recommendation is zinc and antioxidants proven to cut down macular degeneration by 30%.The specialist said it is an incurable condition If severe-- then laser treatment is required.( See info below) He adds that the condition can be however preventedWhat astounds me is the lack of appreciation that we are a Country chronically low on antioxidant intake. Zinc and selenium deficiency is widespread in Australia as is Vitamin C deficiency. In my opinion a good mulltivitamin containig vitamin C and zinc and selenium as well as the life style changes would go a long way to prevent this epidemic and prevent the disease which as he acknowledged is a consequence of poor diet . In the interview no mention is made of doses or the nature of antioxidants and what they actually do --and this CD goes to virtually every GP in Australia. Even the damaging Vegetable oils are not mentioned and butter is not a vegetable oil.Michael
How does AMD damage vision?
AMD occurs in two forms:
Dry AMD affects about 90 percent of those with the disease. Its cause is unknown. Slowly, the light sensitive cells in the macula break down. With less of the macula working, you may start to lose central vision in the affected eye as the years go by. Dry AMD often occurs in just one eye at first. You may get the disease later in the other eye. Doctors have no way of knowing if or when both eyes may be affected.
Wet AMD—Although only 10 percent of all people with AMD have this type, it accounts for 90 percent of all blindness from the disease. It occurs when new blood vessels behind the retina start to grow toward the macula. Because these new blood vessels tend to be very fragile, they will often leak blood and fluid under the macula. This causes rapid damage to the macula that can lead to the loss of central vision in a short period of time.
Dry AMD currently cannot be treated. But this does not mean that you will lose your sight. Fortunately, dry AMD develops very slowly. You may lose some of your central vision over the years. However, most people are able to lead normal, active lives—especially if AMD affects only one eye.
Some cases of wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery.
The treatment involves aiming a high energy beam of light directly onto the leaking blood vessels to seal them. Laser treatment is best applied soon after the new blood vessels develop, before they have reached and damaged the fovea—the central part of the macula. But even if the blood vessels are growing right behind the fovea, the treatment can be of some value in stopping further vision loss.
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