Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States in those over 50 years of age.
What Are The Risk Factors?
Caucasian women are the highest risk group but diet and lifestyle also play a role. Smoking, for instance, is a major risk factor for the development of AMD.
A history of heart disease can also increase the risk of AMD. Central vision shadowing and blind spots, called scotomas is a key symptom.
Visual acuity loss diminished contrast sensitivity and dulling of color vision are also present with AMD.
The macula, which comprises 2.1% of retina but takes up half the processing in the visual cortex, is primarily affected with AMD.
The presence of AMD can be detected, often years, before symptoms arise using equipment like fundus photography which looks in the back of the eye.
Initially, deposits of retinal waste made up of Calcium and Cholesterol, called Drusen are seen. For some, these deposits and the progression of the disease can be managed by increasing dark green vegetable intake, lowering red meat consumption, eating fatty fish at least twice weekly and consuming fats high in omega 3.
For others, the Drusen deposits can spread leading to scarring and inflammation of the macula with visual loss. This type of AMD is called dry AMD and represents nearly 90% of all cases.
The factor driving this is poor circulation in the retina and accumulation of Drusen. This is why micro acupuncture is so effective as it helps push new blood flow into the retina and promotes better drainage of waste products which dissipates Drusen deposits.
Dry AMD can progress to geographic atrophy or wet AMD. With geographic atrophy, a patch of the macula dies leading to blind spots in central vision.
With some patients, this can lead to Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) where brain substitutes images into that blind spot and patients may suffer from visual hallucinations.
Studies have found that many of these blind spots are composed of, in part, by dormant and damaged retinal cells that act functionally as dead cells.
Acupuncture Can Revive Damaged Cells
Many of these dormant and damaged cells are revived to normal functioning after micro acupuncture is provided. Wet AMD develops when signaling proteins in retina called vascular endothelial growth factors are produced excessively and fragile blood vessels start to grow excessively.
These new blood vessels are prone to leakage and put pressure on macula rapidly compromising vision. Micro-acupuncture promotes robust blood flow to retina helping to decrease VEGF signaling and slow/reverse the growth of immature blood vessels.
Micro-acupuncture also helps quickly dry the excess fluid accumulation in the retina helping again to reverse vision loss.
On average 85% of our AMD patients see significant vision improvement after completing a course of ten micro-acupuncture treatments.
Diet, lifestyle and supplements also help promote retinal health and are part of a program of care to reverse vision loss with AMD.
Please call our office to set up a consultation to discuss your case. We would be happy to help.