Eye Care

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Protect Your Sight from Macular Degeneration


With their doctors’ approval, individuals with AMD should take two of the AREDS 2 capsules or its equivalence along with a multivitamin each day. Those who are at high risk for developing advanced AMD, e.g. individuals with a strong family history of AMD or those who have multiple risk factors for AMD, should also consider taking these supplements. This supplement formulation can be purchased over the counter without a prescription and is marketed under various names, including “eye health” and “macula-saver.” Just read the label to be sure that it has the same formulation as the AREDS 2 supplements. 

After age 40, regular eye examinations are important to detect early signs of AMD as well as glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve caused by increased pressure in the eye) and cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye). People with AMD are asked to test their eyes at home with an Amsler Grid to look for distortion that might indicate AMD. To use the grid, cover one eye and stare at the black dot in the center. While staring at the dot, if you notice that the straight lines in the pattern appear wavy or that some of the lines are missing, these may be signs of AMD.

Amsler Grid

An Amsler grid can indicate age-related macular degeneration.


Treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Ophthalmologists (physicians with a medical degree, MD, that specialize in medical and surgical care of the eyes) have made major discoveries in treating wet AMD. This usually consists of injections of medications into the center of the eye where they cause the bleeding vessels to wither away without damaging surrounding tissue. About 75 percent of the time, this treatment can keep vision from getting worse, so starting treatment as soon as wet AMD is diagnosed is critical.

Remember, there are treatment options for both wet age-related macular degeneration and dry age-related macular degeneration, but a healthy lifestyle that does not include obesity or tobacco products maximizes the chance for good vision all your life. May you live to see your children’s children’s children, and see them clearly!


John C. Hagan III, MD, is an American Academy of Ophthalmology Fellow and editor of Missouri Medicine Medical Journal. Dr. Hagan practices ophthalmology at the Discover Vision Centers in Kansas City, Missouri.

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