Are you taking the right eye vitamins for your macular degeneration?
Age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in those aged 55 and older in the United States. While your lifestyle factors such as UV exposure, smoking and diet may contribute to your risk for macular degeneration, your genetic makeup is the strongest risk factor accounting for up to 60% of your risk for developing the disease.
Over a decade ago the Age Related Eye Disease Study revealed that high doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc can slow the progression of AMD by 25%. Since this study was released there were several vitamin companies making an AREDs formula of vitamins for macular degeneration patents. Presented with so many different options, patients often get confused on which supplement is best for them. New research shows that for some AMD patients with a particular genetic makeup zinc can cause an increase in the progression of the disease instead of providing a protective benefit . Doctors now have a way to see which vitamin formula will be the most effective to provide a protective benefit to slow the macular degeneration from progressing. The Macula Risk test is a genetic (DNA) test can be done at our office using a q-tip to swab the inside of the cheek. The DNA is then analyzed to determine which genetic defects or mutations exist. This gives the patient and the doctor valuable information. The test reveals which type of AREDs vitamin supplement will provide the best protective benefit based on your DNA. In addition the test also provides your doctor information on the risk for progression or vision loss from macular degeneration. When a risk score is high a doctor may recommend more frequent follow up visits to check for any changes from macular degeneration that may need urgent treatment.
Macula Risk test is available at our Vision Source practice. The cost for the test is billed to your insurance company and if you have a copay or deductible the test costs $25.