Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a type of central vision distortion caused by damage to the macular tissue located in the retina at the back of the eye. When central vision is functioning correctly, it is easy to read, drive and identify faces. When this area begins to lose visual clarity, it’s like applying petroleum jelly to the center of the eye, causing distortion in the middle of the field of vision.
AMD is divided into two types: wet (exudative) and dry (atrophic). Dry AMD is the more common form of AMD, occurs in about 85-90% of the AMD population. Dry AMD is less serious than wet AMD. Wet AMD is defined by the appearance of new blood vessels under the retina. These new blood vessels tend to be weak and cause fluid or blood leakage, which can distort vision and lead to retinal damage.1
AMD is caused by the buildup of a yellowish deposit called drusen, a fatty protein. Drusen build up occurs because nutrients are not getting to the eye and waste is not being removed efficiently. Drusen causes a thinning of the macula (the part of the retina located in the back of the eye) due to lack of oxygen to nourish the eye. The macula is responsible for central vision.
An individual can have dry AMD in one eye and wet AMD in the other eye. Approximately 10% of the population with dry AMD later develops wet AMD.
Currently, Western medicine does not have a cure for either wet or dry AMD. Western medicine addresses wet AMD with injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Inhibitor (VEGF) into the eye. Current VEGF drugs are Avastin, Lucentis, and less commonly, Eylea.1 These drugs bind to VEGF causing it to stop producing blood vessels. Injections are usually a temporary solution and requires multiple injections.1 “An average of seven injections will be required the first year…..and treatment is unlikely to be effective in advanced exudative AMD”.1 “The anti-VEGF drugs only treat the exudative component”.1 Some of these drugs were not initially developed to treat macular degeneration. “Avastin was intended to be given intravenously as an anti-cancer drug”.1
VEGF is a protein in the body which stimulates increased growth of blood vessels. Blood vessels are the result of a lack of oxygen to the eye. VEGF is tasked with getting more blood vessels to an area that is not getting enough oxygen, so the tissue doesn’t die. These additional blood vessels tend to be weak and tear easily which causes them to leak fluid or blood. When these blood vessels leak, they reduce the central field of vision.
Because Western medicine does not have a cure for dry AMD, monitoring the progression of AMD recommending dietary changes, eliminating smoking and supplements are the best they have to offer individuals suffering with AMD.
What can you do?
- If you smoke, quit smoking
- Change your diet. Drusen, or the fatty protein deposit that builds up in the eye is similar to cholesterol build up in the bloodstream. Eliminate foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fats. Instead of frying or roasting food try grilling, baking or steaming. Increase vegetables and beans in soups and stews and decrease or eliminate meat. Eliminate dairy products and substitute coconut or oat milk instead.2 Consume healthy oils such as coconut and olive oil.
- Talk to an acupuncturist specializing in Micro Acupuncture for macular degeneration.
Micro Acupuncture or MA48 originated as AcuNova, a branch of acupuncture that utilizes new points on the hands and feet that are different from other branches of acupuncture. Studies have documented increases in blood flow to the central retinal artery (CAD) which supplies nutrients to the retina following acupuncture.3 Electro-Acupuncture increases blood flow to surrounding nerves.3 Vonda earned her advanced master’s training and certification in the Micro Acupuncture system from Dr. Andy Rosenfarb who has been treating complicated eye conditions with the Micro Acupuncture and the MA48 system with success for more than 15 years. Vonda has successfully helped multiple individuals stabilize their macular degeneration with the Micro Acupuncture protocol. Medical disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person. Testimonials are only to be used as an example of some results not the results guaranteed – not everyone will get the same results outlined in testimonials and text on this page. References
- Yorston D. (2014). Anti-VEGF drugs in the prevention of blindness. Community eye health, 27(87), 44–46.
- Bittner, A. K., Gould, J. M., Rosenfarb, A., Rozanski, C., & Dagnelie, G. (2014). A pilot study of an acupuncture protocol to improve visual function in retinitis pigmentosa patients. Clinical & experimental optometry, 97(3), 240–247. https://doi.org/10.1111/cxo.12117
- Dabov S, Goutoranov G, Ivanova R, Petkova N. Clinical application of acupuncture in ophthalmology. Acupunct Electrother 1985;10(1-2):79-93. doi: 10.3727/036012985816714577. PMID: 2861724