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What is Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of vision in the centre of the eye and is caused by the sun’s high-energy, blue light damaging the retinal protective shield, or macula, over time. As the disease progresses, it blurs the patient's central vision – creating the illusion of a ‘hole’ so that they can see a person’s hair and clothes but not their face. 

The macula is the small area at the centre of the retina responsible for central vision. Its role is to filter out harmful blue light before it hits the sensitive rods and cones on the retina. As a person gets older, the risk of AMD increases, particularly when coupled with poor diet, smoking and drinking which can accelerate the onset of the disease.

AMD can take two forms, wet and dry.  Wet AMD is caused by the abnormal growth of blood vessels under the macula. This leads to rapid loss of central vision. Wet AMD is considered to be advanced AMD and is more severe than the dry form. Dry AMD, the more common form, occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. Untreated dry AMD can progress into wet AMD.

According to the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly two million Americans have vision loss from advanced AMD, and another seven million with AMD are at substantial risk for vision loss. It is thought that the AREDS vitamin and mineral formulation could save more than 300,000 people from vision loss over the next five years.

For more information, visit the NEI Website at http://www.nei.nih.gov/.

 

Improving eye health

Have a look at our tips for good eye health and protect your precious eye sight. 

  • Stop smoking – it increases your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, dry eyes, and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Move your computer screen to just below eye level to prevent neck and eye strain.  Your eyes will close slightly when you’re staring at the computer, minimizing fluid evaporation and the risk of dry eye syndrome.
  • Look away from your computer screen every 30 minutes to rest your eyes.  Don’t forget to refocus your eyes at intervals to increase your blink rate and protect against dry eye.
  • Work in good light. Check that the lighting is correct for your task, this prevents eye strain.
  • Aim your car vents at your feet, not your eyes or wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from dry, air-conditioned air that will make symptoms of dry eye worse.
  • Eat more fruits such as blueberries that are powerful antioxidants and provide protection against AMD according to the AREDS study.
  • Eat more spinach, broccoli and other foods rich in lutein, a pigment that provides the yellow colouring in the macular which protects against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Ideally, get your lutein in combination with some form of fat (olive oil works great) for the best absorption.
 
  • Cook with red onions, not yellow as red onions contain far more quercetin, an antioxidant that is thought to protect against cataracts.
  • Take a multivitamin each day.  A major study AREDS suggests that with daily supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, more than 300,000 people could avoid AMD-associated vision loss over the next five years.
  • Take a walk four times a week, regular exercise can reduce the intraocular pressure, or IOP, in people with glaucoma.
  • Eat fish twice a week. A study from Harvard researchers presented at the 2003 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s annual meeting evaluated the diets of 32,470 women and found those who ate the least amount of fish (thus getting the least amount of omega-3 fatty acids) had the highest risk of dry eye syndrome. Or try fish-oil supplements to get your omega-3s.
  • Consider using a humidifier on your radiator or increasing plants in your house to increase humidity and protect against dry eye.
  • Wear sunglasses in bright conditions to protect against glare, UV radiation and the drying effects of the wind.
 
  • Check your blood pressure regularly - The two leading causes of blindness in the United States are high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which damage blood vessels.
  • Replace your mascara every three months and other eye makeup once a year. Eye makeup is a great repository for bacteria, which can easily be transferred to your eyes and cause infections.
  • Use eye makeup remover every night before going to bed. This prevents small pieces of mascara from winding up in your eye and possibly scratching your cornea.
  • Use a fresh towel every time you wipe your face and a separate cotton pad for each eye when removing eye make-up. Sharing face towels is a great way to get conjunctivitis.
  • Have a regular eye test. An eye test is not just good for checking whether your glasses are up to date. It’s also a vital check on the health of your eyes. An eye test can pick up eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Care for your contact lens properly.  Regular cleaning can prevent infections.
  • Get enough sleep.  Your eye sight often seems worse when you are tired and this can be dangerous when driving

Just as you protect your skin from environmental stress and ageing, eyes also need special care to keep the delicate tissues in top condition.

If you have tired, itchy or sore eyes or want to protect your eyesight then Altacor has a solution for you. All products are clinically tested and approved by ophthalmologists.

Maintain healthy vision

Treat yourself to healthier eyes with EyeBar


EyeBar is a new and unique chocolate bar fortified with vitamins and minerals. EyeBar provides a more pleasing way to take a regular eye health supplement to help maintain healthy vision. 

Made from quality chocolate (65% cocoa solids minimum) and with all the vitamins and minerals your eyes need to stay healthy, plus Lutein and Zeaxanthin, EyeBar is a delicious way to help look after your eyes.

The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that taking regular supplements specifically for the eyes may reduce further deterioration in eye health by up to 26%. EyeBar is fortified with vitamins C and E, Zinc and Copper, validated in both the AREDS and AREDS2 studies. 

Each box contains 30 individually wrapped, 12g chocolate bars and one or two bars can be enjoyed daily. If appropriate, one EyeBar and one EyeTab capsule can be taken per day. 

New EyeBar
 

 

 
Why are nutritional supplements especially important for the eyes?

Some people can become deficient in nutrients that have been shown to be beneficial for eye health and vision maintenance. Many of these substances cannot be synthesised by the body and can only be obtained from a healthy and balanced diet.

Supplements ensure that a healthy diet is fortified with essential vitamins and contribute to a healthy macular pigment (MP), which is important to healthy vision. 

 

Our Clinitas range

  • The innovative range of Clinitas products has been developed to target the causes of dry eye and provide lasting relief from its symptoms. The Clinitas dry eye products are recommended by doctors, eye hospitals and opticians and are safe to use with other eye drops and medications. If problems do not improve after five days you should consult a doctor.
  • Clinitas Soother packagingClinitas Soothe - gentle preservative-free eye drop, available 0.4% Sodium Hyaluronate, preservative-free
    eye drop in both a re-sealable unit dose dropper and a 10ml Multi dose bottle which is sterile for up to 3 months, suitable for use with contact
    lenses.

  • Clinitas Hydrate packagingClinitas Hydrate - a gel that increases the tear volume to lubricate and comfort the eye for up to six hours, making it excellent for overnight use and on wakening.

Our Blepha range

  • The Blepharitis Relief Kit includes the BlephaMask, BlephaCura cleansing fluid and BlephaCura Pads, providing everything you need to ease the symptoms of blepharitis.
  • BlephaMask® packagingBlephaMask® - is a high quality eye mask that holds its heat for up to 10 minutes after warming in the microwave. Applying it as a compresses for 7-10 minutes liquifies secretions which can then be removed using the BlephaCura suspension. The BlephaMask also features a temperature indicator on the box to show when the mask is the right temperature for placing over the delicate skin of the eyelids.

  • BlephaCura® packagingBlephaCura® - is a daily eye lid cleanser. It contains liposomes that have been clinically proven to reduce inflammation and irritation of the eyelids and to promote the natural healing process. It is a suspension that can be applied using the BlephaCura Pads. Available as 70ml bottles. Contains Soy lecithin, Vitamin A (palmitate), Vitamin E, Ethanol, Sodium Chlorid, Phenoxythanol, Aqua Purificata.
  • BlephaCura Pads ® - These organic cotton pads are soft and hygienic, ideal for bathing the eye and applying BlephaCura.