Protect against AMD

A new study has revealed that dried goji berries could help to protect against AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration).
Vision loss is common in older age, with many elderly patients requiring prescription glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. An estimated 170 million people worldwide develop AMD, and it can cause a range of health issues.

So, could goji berries be the answer to preventing this common condition? Here we will look at what the study found and explain the different types of AMD.

Could goji berries help protect against AMD?

Researchers from the University of California have discovered that goji berries boost the density of the protective pigments within the eye. The small study followed 13 healthy participants who were aged from 45 to 65.

These participants ate 28 grams of dried goji berries five times a week for a period of 90 days. An additional 14 participants took an eye health supplement. Results showed that those who ate goji berries saw an increase in protective pigments, while those who just took the supplement saw no change.

The protective pigments are known as Lutein and Zeaxanthin. They help to filter blue light which can be harmful to our eyes. They are also a source of antioxidant protection. This small study has provided a clear link between dried goji berries and good eye health. The results were published within the Nutrients journal and could help with the development of future preventative treatments.

What is AMD?

AMD affects the macula part of the retina located at the back of the eye. The condition causes the macula to change, causing issues for your central vision. The eyesight will become blurry or distorted, and some patients may develop blank patches in their line of sight.

The condition doesn’t impact the peripheral vision, so it won’t lead to full vision loss. However, it can cause problems for patients in their day to day lives.

There are two main types of AMD that patients can experience, wet and dry AMD. Below, you’ll discover a brief overview of each type.

Wet AMD

Wet AMD is the lesser common type, occurring in approximately 10%-15% of cases. This can develop quickly and lead to significant vision problems in just a few days.

This type of AMD develops when there is an issue with the macula. As it stops working properly, the body starts to grow new blood vessels to fix it. Unfortunately, these often grow in the wrong place, causing bleeding and swelling beneath the macula.

Wet AMD should be treated quickly to stop the growth of additional blood vessels and prevent permanent scarring.

Dry AMD

Dry AMD is the most common type, and it tends to occur gradually. Patients experience a gradual change in their eyesight, often over a period of years. In its final stage, patients will start to develop blank patches of vision.

AMD and Cataract Treatment

Both dry and wet AMD can be successfully treated when detected early enough. However, macular degeneration can often coexist with cataracts, and often a cataract can mask the development of AMD. Because of this, sometimes the vision distortions that a patient has from AMD can only be noticeable after cataract surgery. Mr Zaid Shalchi is a macular degeneration specialist, and he will carefully assess all retinal issues in your consultation.

If you suspect you may have AMD, book a consultation today with Mr Zaid Shalchi. If wet AMD is diagnosed, treatment can be started immediately.