I would like to wish all my readers and patients who are mothers and grandmothers, a very Happy Mother’s Day today! As a son, I am always grateful to my mother for all her love for her family and the sacrifice that she has made to bring up her 3 sons and I hope she is proud of us.
AMD affects women more than men
The majority of my patients who suffer from wet AMD are women. As macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the elderly, it tends to affect more women as women statistically live longer than men. Another reason may be that estrogen (a female hormone) becomes less after menopause. This estrogen deficiency may increase menopausal women’s risk of developing AMD. A study from USA suggests that hormone replacement therapy may reduce a woman’s risk of developing wet AMD. However, it also showed that there was a slightly increased risk of dry AMD for women on HRT.
Nutritional supplements to prevent AMD
There are many issues with taking HRT after menopause and not all women may be keen on that option. Another option to prevent AMD is to take nutrional supplements. Suppplements with anti-oxidant properties can reduce oxidative stress to the retina. Oxidative stress is one of the key steps towards the development of AMD. A large study has shown than diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can help prevent AMD in women. Lutein and zeaxanthin are xanthophyll pigments that are found in the macula. They function to protect the macula from UV induced oxidative stress and have anti-oxidant properties. In fact, a very large clinical trial called AREDS 2 is ongoing to look at the benefit of omega-3 fish oil, lutein and zeaxanthin supplements in the prevention of wet AMD.
I encourage all my patients with any signs of dry or wet AMD to take omega 3 fish oil, lutein and zeaxanthin. I believe that these anti-oxidant nutrients have a role to play and have few side effects compared to HRT or other anti-oxidants like beta-carotene. Omega 3 fish oil also has many other beneficial effects for your heart, joints, and blood vessels.
Food for your eyes book
Many readers have been asking me about my upcoming book. Rest assured that it is in the final stages of production. There was a delay in its publication due to my co-author and wife, Chui Hoong, giving birth to our 3rd child 3 months ago. We are also translating the book into Chinese for the benefit of my Chinese speaking patients. The book will be bilingual, have lots of fantastic recipes that are good for your eyes, and a little bit on common eye diseases. I am very excited that our project for the last year is finally coming to fruition and look forward to sharing the book with all of you!
To your good health and happiness!