Need longer arms to see what you’re reading these days?
As you grow older, you may find time reminding you of its passage ― stiff joints when you get up from a chair, flagging energy, nightly interruptions to sleep. And one day you realize your arms have become too short to hold a book far enough away to read!
It’s called presbyopia, and that’s irritating enough, but, without proper care, more serious problems may lie ahead for your vision.
These are the five most common age-related problems that can affect your eyes:
- Cataracts: Protein fibers form a film over the eye’s lens, causing vision to become cloudy.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Affecting people with advanced type 1 or type 2 diabetes, vision loss is caused by damage to blood vessels in the retina, which can either swell and leak blood, or close, preventing the passage of blood.
- Macular Degeneration: Vision is lost gradually, especially in the central visual field, as the retina (or macula) loses function and affects the ability to read, see objects clearly and perform daily tasks.
- Glaucoma: Pressure in the eye gradually increases, damaging the optic nerve and reducing peripheral vision.
- Dry Eye Syndrome: With age, inability to produce adequate tears to protect and nourish eyes increases, causing irritation and loss of visual clarity.
With loss of vision, you become vulnerable to a number of social and health problems. Many people, for example, become socially withdrawn, depressed or more apt to have accidents. It’s also common for visually impaired people to have trouble reading instructions and taking their medications properly, which can lead to dangerous interactions and side effects.
Fortunately, four supplements ― vitamin A, vitamin B50 complex, omega3 fatty acids (including krill oil), and MacuGuard ― can help protect your eyes against these life-changing diseases that can rob you of your sight.
Vitamin A for Better Night Vision
Do you have night blindness ― the inability to see in the dark or in poorly lit areas? If so, it could be a tip-off that you have a vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A, which is composed of a group of antioxidant compounds, is particularly important for seeing in low-light conditions. But having enough vitamin A is also important for other reasons.
You need vitamin A to avoid corneal ulcers, as well as to prevent clouding of the eye’s lens and development of retinal damage. Plus, vitamin A is what makes it possible for you to see certain colors, such as bright orange and purple.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the retina ― a thin piece of tissue that lines the back of the eye. It’s here where photoreceptor cells convert light to electrical signals, which the brain perceives as images. When the photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, central vision loss occurs.
AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in those over 50, and vitamin A is already being used to help prevent blindness from this disease. Over a six-year period, patients with mild-to-moderate AMD who were given a multivitamin containing antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, along with zinc and copper, had a 25% lower risk of progressing to an advanced stage of the disease.
B Vitamins to Fend Off AMD
We’ll say it again: AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people 50+. The good news, however, is that this doesn’t have to be! Evidence is mounting that (1) AMD is preventable and (2) certain B vitamins ― such as those in B-50 complex ― can lower your AMD risk.
The 15-year Blue Mountain Eye Study, published in 2013, focused on the impact of vitamin B12 and folate/folic acid supplementation on homocysteine levels. Homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid, is a residual product of protein metabolism. Normally it isn’t harmful, but when it accumulates, it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and contributes to the retinal damage that occurs with AMD. The higher the homocysteine level, the higher the AMD risk.
Increased levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid lowered homocysteine levels by causing it to recycle back into methionine ― a non-harmful amino acid. Those with elevated homocysteine had a 56% greater risk of AMD than those with homocysteine within normal parameters.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Krill Oil for Retinal Protection
Our need for fatty acids, which contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicoapentaenoic acid), begins before we’re even born. The developing fetus needs these nutrients, especially DHA, for normal development of the brain ― and the eyes. And that need never ends. In fact, your need grows as you age.
DHA and EPA are found in both omega 3 +7 and krill oil.
Up to 65% of the eye’s retina is composed of DHA ― the highest concentration found in any part of the body. All that DHA is what enables pigment (rhodopsin) in your eye’s photoreceptor cells to respond to light in a way that enables you to see at night.
Research to date suggests that omega-3s may help to prevent development of AMD or limit its progression. It also appears promising to relieve the stinging, burning, watering and light sensitivity associated with dry eye.
Some people prefer krill oil to fish oil because it’s rapidly absorbed, improves cognitive functioning and contains small amounts of astaxanthin. At 550 times the strength of vitamin E, and 6,000 times that of vitamin C, astaxanthin is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. Moreover, research has shown that astaxanthin can accumulate in and protect the retina, which is damaged by AMD.
MacuGuard for Comprehensive Vision Protection
MacuGuard Ocular Support is a unique, proprietary blend that brings together in a single softgel the most powerful ingredients known to fight the effects of aging and protect your precious eyes.
Around 600 different carotenoids are found in nature, but only around 20 affect the eyes. Of these, MacuGuard contains lutein, trans-zeaxanthin, meso-zeaxanthin and alpha carotene ― all carotenoids known to provide glaucoma protection and support your macular pigment density, which declines with age. That’s the part of your retina that protects your critically important photoreceptor cells.
Phospholipids are included to help in the absorption of lutein within the retina and support it in protecting your eyes from blue and ultraviolet light, which can cause retinal damage.
MacuGuard also contains astaxanthin, one of the world’s most potent antioxidants. It protects against eye fatigue and irritation, and supports the eyes’ blood vessel health, which can fall victim to diabetic retinopathy.
Cyanidin-3-glucoside, made from European black currant extract, helps to replenish rhodopsin, which is essential for night vision.
Together with vitamin A, vitamin B-50 complex and omega-3 fatty acids (fish or krill oil), MacuGuard provides comprehensive, all-around defense against one of the most devastating outcomes of poorly managed ageing: loss of your wonderful, irreplaceable eyesight.
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