Macular Degeneration

Dr. Weeks Recommends…..

Prevention of Macular Degeneration

Summary Overview:

Age related macular degeneration is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in people over the age of 65. It is a slow progressive disease that affects the central area of the retina called the macula. This is the location of the retina responsible for central vision, which gives us the greatest detail in our sight.There are at least 12 steps which can be implemented to slow, halt or even reverse this condition, summarized below. 12 STEPS TO CLARITY OF VISION

1. Begin a Healthy Diet for the Eye
There is evidence that the following type of diet will help in weight reduction, reduce the risk of arteriosclerotic vascular disease, lower blood pressure, reduce the incidence of diabetes and improve blood flow to the eye.You should shift your diet towards meats like cold water fish (salmon and cod) and eggs and reduce dairy products and red meat. Increase your intake of vegatables, and take special care to reduce sugur inatake. Be aware that fruits contain high levels of sugar (a good example why to take all in moderation). Never use products containing Aspartame such as Nutrasweet(tm)! As disharmonizing as suger is – it is much prefered. Eat some live foods every day and supplement for your deficiencies. Note, NatO’s macular degeneration nutraceutical formula contains the nutrients known to be required for health plus therapeutic doses of ingredients targeting the physiological process’ clinically shown to help. 2. Develop an Exercise Program to Improve Circulation
If you do not have a regular exercise program now is the time to start. You should begin slowly under your physician s supervision. Find something that you enjoy and remember to continue your program. Brisk walking is a favorite activity of many people. Other exercises to consider are swimming, aerobics, and cycling. If you are physically limited consult with your doctor on other activities. Moderate exercise improves your cardiovascular system, helps keep off extra pounds, lowers cholesterol, reduces high blood pressure and improves retinal circulation. Exercise also helps to improve your mental outlook and reduces stress. These factors are important in helping the body fight disease. This is probably the best thing you will do for your health!

3. Begin a Program of 1-Relaxation, 2- Positive Thinking & 3- Visualization
It is well known that there is a mind/body connection in health and disease. Techniques such as relaxation, visualization, massage or meditation can help reduce stresses that adversely affect our bodies. Studies have shown that these efforts help to lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate and produces a general feeling of well being. There are many different methods to acheive these results depending on one which way is best for you. It can be simple techniques to slow the breathing, prayer, positive visualization or saying a positive affirmation.The quickest, easiest and cheapest (maybe even the most effective) treatment you can do is to combine these three strategies into one easy step.For example, you can very quickly and easily support your improvement by simply taking a deep breath – exhaling while saying (even to yourself) -The Healing Power of Nature is helping my eyes.”

Make up a way (any way) to visualize it happening. Do this three times in a row taking 30 seconds of normal breathing in between. Another benificial statement is – “My doctor cares for me and and his treatments are working.” It is best if you make up your own statement – the important thing is to “do it,” and visualize it happening.

During this process it is important to let go of negative thoughts. Sometimes being in a very pleasant natural environment, such as a park or a walk in the country away from the stresses of the daily life will be like meditation. This should be a daily practice to help reduce stress. Again, the important thing, best said by Nike ™, – is “JUST DO IT.”

4. Eliminate Coffee, Aspirin, Margarine, Alcohol and Stop Smoking
Coffee should be eliminated or reduced. Studies have shown that coffee can produce a 13% reduction in retinal blood flow.
Aspirin: Several studies shown that there is an increase risk of bleeding into the eyes in patients with macular degeneration who take aspirin. If you are on an aspirin program discuss this with your doctor.
Margarine interferes with the circulation and synthesis of gamma linolenic acid. Avoid eating margarine, crisco and hydrogenated fats. They are all toxic and they interfere with the synthesis of this essential fatty acid.
Alcohol: High Alcohol consumption also reduces the levels of antioxidants and carotenoids. Avoid alcohol or severely limit your intake to maintain the proper levels of these important antioxidants.
Smoking: If you smoke please do everything possible to stop. There is a 6.6 times greater risk of developing macular degeneration in smokers; even former smokers have a 3.2 times greater risk. Each cigarette robs the body of 25 mg of vitamin C. Smokers have an increase in lipids (both fat and cholesterol), which increase the risk of severe cardiovascular disease. These factors produce a narrowing of the retinal blood vessels that carry valuable nutrients to the eye.

5. Protect Your Eyes from Sunlight
UV and Blue Violet sun rays increase the risk of developing macular degeneration. Studies have shown that people who spend a great deal of time outdoors are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration. A good pair of sunglasses which block 100% of UVA and UVB and at least 85% of blue violet sun rays are essential to protect the eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. On a sunny day a wide brim hat should also be worn.

6. Begin a Program of Antioxidants
The 1958 Helsinki study proved that agents which opened the blood vessels (Vasodilators) and cleared blood vessels of plaques (Antioxidants) result in improvement of vision. In this study, patients who received Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Heparin showed a 67% visual improvement. Vitamin A is an important ocular antioxidant and it is an essential precursor in the formation of retinal pigment which is needed for sight. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that protects retinal cells from UV radiation. N- acetyl-l cysteine, selenium and riboflavin all help to stimulate the

production of glutathione.

Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in red onions, has been shown to be potent in preventing the damage of fat tissue in the eyes from UV light. It also inhibits histamine release and relaxes the smooth muscles of blood vessels. It has a strong affinity for iron. Reducing this oxidant may reduce the oxidative stress of the body.

7. Take a therapeutic dose nutraceutical supplement specific for your condition:

Key dosages of specific substances are known to effect healing.

Selenium is a vital antioxidant which protects the immune system, preventing the formation of free radicals. It is now recommended that moderate dosages of Zinc may be beneficial in macular degeneration. Dosages greater than 100 mg a day can reduce copper stores in the body, increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and depress your immune system. Because of this, high dosages of zinc are not recommended. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids which make up the pigment in the macula of the eye. These are the pigments which give food their color, found in eggs, colored fruits and leafy green vegetables.

The following are good sources of carotenoids: kale, spinach, mustard greens, pumpkins, eggs, corn, orange peppers and grapes. Eggs contain the highest amount of both compounds, corn contains the most lutein and orange peppers have the most zeaxanthin. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who ate the highest amounts of food rich in carotenoids had a 43% lower risk of developing macular degeneration. Bilberry is used for many eye disorders including cataract, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetic retinopathy. It contains anthocyanosides which have been shown to stabilize collagen, increase intracellular vitamin C levels and decrease capillary fragility. Bilberry may improve oxygen delivery to the eye and act as an antioxidant. The ginkgo leaf extracts are now among the leading prescription medications in both Germany and France. The primary clinical application has been in the treatment of vascular insufficiency. Many studies have demonstrated improved circulation in patients with arterial insufficiency. In addition to improving retinal circulation, ginkgo also has a protective affect against free radicals. Another study has shown that a combination of ginkgo biloba and zinc may slow the progression of visual loss.

Many other nutraceuticals are known to be benificial to visual health and are found in NatO’s products.

The recommended Supplementation for Macular Degeneration is contained in NatO’s Macular Degeneration Nutritional Formula, Homeopathic Formula and Vision Spray Antioxidant Oral Spray. This is a three pronged approach to stimulate you bodies healing power, provide therapeutic nutrients plus maximun herbal/antioxidant action (MORE INFORMATION).

10. Homeopathy
Homeopathy is scientific method of therapy based on the principle of stimulating the body’s own healing processes in order to accomplish cure. The basic system was devised and verified by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, nearly 200 years ago. Homeopathy’s astounding success rates in both chronic and acute diseases has not only stood the test of time, but has rapidly achieved widespread acceptance. In Homeopathy (“homeo” means “similar”), each of us is a total, complete individual, no aspect of which can be separated from any other. To be effective, any valid therapy must be based on a deep understanding of and respect for the uniqueness of individuals. Natural Ophthalmics’ homeopathic eye drops are formulated with the most common remedies found to help the most people.

11. Chelation Therapy
Chelation therapy is a safe, painless treatment using the synthetic amino acid EDTA which has the ability to “latch onto” molecules of calcium, lead, mercury and other heavy metals. These metals along with EDTA are then eliminated from the body through the urine.

Chelation therapy is used for patients with heavy metal poisoning, poor circulation due to arteriosclerosis and conditions related to these primary diagnoses. The causes of macular degeneration are many, but it is felt that arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and the formation of free radicals contribute to this disease. Chelation therapy has been documented to be helpful in treatment of both macular degeneration and heart disease. In arteriosclerosis, the blood vessels are damaged and then obstructed by the buildup of plaque. During and following chelation therapy, this plaque is dissolved very slowly and the blood flow throughout the body improves. Chelation more or less safely “scrubs” the blood vessels in the same way “Drano” cleans out your bathroom pipes!

12. Microcurrent Therapy (MCS)
Microcurrent therapy is a painless, non-invasive treatment that uses small, barely perceptible, impulses to stimulate tissue vitality and blood flow. In preliminary studies by the Macular Degeneration Foundation, this treatment has improved both visual acuity and color perception. The Foundation’s two-year preliminary MCS trial involving 120 patients resulted in an average of 68 percent improvement over pre-treatment vision for patients with dry macular degeneration and a 58 percent improvement over pre-treatment for those with the wet form of macular degeneration. The microcurrent device has not been reviewed by the FDA, nor has it been peer reviewed for the use of ocular disorders. FDA trials are currently underway.

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