Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment

Dry macular degeneration treatment primarily focuses on slowing the disease progression and managing symptoms as there is currently no cure. This may include lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In some cases, high doses of specific vitamins and minerals may be recommended.

senior woman getting new prescription eye glasses

Regular eye exams are needed to monitor the condition and detect any changes early. In advanced stages, low vision aids, such as magnifying devices, can be used to help with daily tasks.

What is Dry Macular Degeneration?

Dry macular degeneration is a retinal eye condition that primarily affects the central part of the retina called the macula. It is the most common version of macular degeneration while the wet form is the less common.

It's important to note that any treatment should be discussed with an eye care professional, and individual recommendations may vary.

There are actions you can take to slow the progression of your retinal disease. They are:

  1. Vitamin Supplements:                                       The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2 have shown that specific high-dose antioxidant and zinc supplements may slow the progression of dry macular degeneration in some individuals. These supplements typically contain vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene (or vitamin A), zinc, and copper. However, it's crucial to consult with an eye care professional before starting any supplements, as they may not be suitable for everyone.
  2. Lifestyle Changes:                                         Adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall eye health. This includes maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish, exercising regularly, and managing conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol.
  3. Monitoring and Regular Eye Exams:                 Regular eye exams are crucial for monitoring the progression of dry macular degeneration. Early detection of any changes allows for timely intervention and management.
  4. Clinical Trials:                                                Some individuals may choose to participate in clinical trials investigating new treatments for dry age related macular degeneration. These trials may explore the effectiveness of new medications, therapies, or retinal implants. Discuss participation in a clinical trial with an eye care professional first.

It's important to recognize that these treatments aim to slow down the progression of dry macular degeneration rather than reverse the damage. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of macular degeneration, it's essential to seek guidance from an eye care professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management plan.

Include Foods Rich in Antioxidants

"Almost every single one of the risk factors we have for macular degeneration can be linked to free radicals," according to Dr. Lylas Mogk, Director of the Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center of the Henry Ford Health System.

Include foods high in antioxidants to counteract the effects of free radical damage to your cells.

Get Your Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two compounds, called carotenoids, that are found in the macula. They are what gives the macula its pigment. This macular pigment helps to protect the macula from the damaging effects of blue light.

There are many studies linking the association between lutein and zeaxanthin with macular health. After reading more about these two critical carotenoids, my husband and I are making sure we include lutein rich foods in our diet.

Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Foods can be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation can lead to many degenerative diseases including dry macular degeneration.

Reduce inflammation by:

√  Reducing your consumption of processed food, pro-oxidative seed oils and foods high in sugar

√  Including two servings of cold water fish in your diet each week

Many of the foods in a anti-inflammatory diet will benefit not just your eyes but also put you on the right track for a healthy heart and brain.

Wear Blue Blocker Sunglasses

blue blocker sunglasses

Protect your eyes with sunglasses that offer ultraviolet protection. The second strategy is to wear blue blocker sunglasses.

The color that blocks blue is yellow, so blue blockers must contain a yellow tint.

There are ready-made "NOIR" sunglasses that block blue and UV light with a variety of tints, including:

light yellow,

dark yellow, amber, and


Blue Blocker glasses are available as clip-ons, and as large plastic frames that fit over your regular glasses.

First FDA Approved Treatment for Advanced Dry AMD

On February 17, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first treatment for  geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of dry macular degeneration (AMD). 

Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment Clinical Trials

There are several clinical trials for dry macular degeneration treatment.

They range from retinal transplants, to nanosecond laser therapy to macular drusen to antioxidant therapy.

Click here for more information: Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment Studies

More research is being conducted for the dry version of AMD to provide patients with more treatment options.  Until then be proactive in improving your health through diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices.

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