Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in the United States in people over 50. As we age, some people get lipid deposits in a part of the retina, the macula, that is important for detail vision like reading. As the deposits continue to grow, they obstruct our vision. One of the first signs of AMD is difficulty adjusting to a darkened room after being outside in bright light. Many times, peripheral vision starts to deteriorate as well. Unfortunately, there are very few treatments available in mainstream medicine. It appears to have a genetic link and is worsened by diabetes and smoking. There also appears to be a connection to Alzheimers disease.
Two large studies were done looking at antioxidant vitamins and found that Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc, Zeaxanthin, and Lutein were helpful at slowing down the progression of the degeneration. Luckily, we have more tools in our alternative medicine world: hyperbaric oxygen therapy!
Many people don’t realize that the eye is technically an extension of the brain. And we know how well the brain does with hyperbaric oxygen. A study done in 2015 showed that after hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients with AMD had improved vision and anatomical improvement. Hyperbaric oxygen helps feed every cell, including the brain and eye cells. Increased oxygen allows the eye to heal faster and repair more quickly.
Because AMD has a genetic link, if you are at risk for vision problems, hyperbaric shows promise to help slow the progression of the disease. Give us a call and let us help you get healthy.