Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, accounting for about 42 percent of all cases of blindness worldwide (affecting about 17 million people). Twenty-eight thousand new cases are reported everyday. About 20 percent of all people over 60 have at least the beginning of a cataract in one or both eyes, and that figure rises to 80 percent for people over 75.
The most common type of cataract a nuclear cataract is characterized by a cloudy haze inside the lens (see figure below). This haze is the physical manifestation of a random clumping together of the once beautifully ordered arrangement of lens proteins called crystallins. As the cataract develops in size and density, it reduces the amount of light that passes through the lens and scatters the light that does get through. Thus, instead of all the light rays being focused precisely to a point on the retina, forming a sharp, clear image of what we are seeing, many of the rays are spread out across the retina, forming a fuzzy image. Colors may be dulled or distorted, and there may be an annoying halo of light around bright objects, causing a glare effect.
Eyeslasticity For Vibrant Young Eyes
You can tell a lot from a person's eyes. Their age. Their health. Sleeping patterns or if they're stressed. The eyes really are the window to the soul. And a lot of souls are worn down.
Hey, life happens. Babies are born that demand attention (at all hours of the day and night). Jobs take their toll. Finances, relationships, the list goes on. We age in the process, and not in kind ways.
Aged eyes are old eyes. That's not bad, it's just what eyes do. We see it in expression lines, dark circles and puffiness. Some people look like they've been around block a few times, and haven't slept in years!
The good news is that aging eyes are within your control. You can't stop time, but you can stop what it does to your body, and see the world with vibrant young eyes.
Eyelasticity Age-Defying Eye Therapy is a revolutionary skin-care formula that fights eye-aging and those tell-tale signs of life experience that betray one's age. With the latest in medical research, Eyelasticity is specifically formulated with active ingredients that are clinically proven to:
- reduce the appearance of crow's feet and laugh lines
- help to eliminate dark circles and under-eye puffiness
- reduce puffiness and bagginess
- fight wrinkles
- stimulate collagen and elastin production
- moisturize and soften the eyes
Eye-aging occurs for a number of reasons. Fatigue, allergies, lack of sleep and some medications can contribute to dark circles and under-eye bagginess. But more often than not, it's hereditary and comes with age.
As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin. These two proteins are vital to healthy, vibrant skin. Without them, skin becomes thin and loses its elasticity. Then wrinkles appear in vulnerable places.
To make matters worse, skin around the eyes is exceptionally delicate. At 0.5 mm, it's the thinnest skin of the body (typically 2 mm). Our blood vessels dilate as we get older and produce a blue tint. Eventually it's visible through the skin, in the form of dark circles. The thinner the skin, the darker the circles.
And wrinkles form. Skin separates without sufficient collagen for rigidity among the dermal tissues. But there's less elastin, so skin tears but doesn't repair like it once did.
Eyelasticity Age Defying Eye Therapy is clinically proven to reduce eye wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. In recent clinical trials, Eyelasticity reduced puffiness in 95% of volunteers, with 70% reporting results in just 14 days. Depth of wrinkles was reduced on average by 20%, dark eye circles improved by 35%, with puffiness and bagging reduced by 32%, and collagen I production (the body's most common form of collagen) increased by an astounding 1,190%!
Eyelasticity is strategically formulated, with an ideal concentration of ingredients to stimulate elastin and collagen production, reduce bagginess, wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. Safe, effective, convenient and affordable, simply put, it's the best way to reduce eye-aging and enjoy the young, expressive eyes that tell the world you'll always be young at heart. Let others look old and tired. With Eyelasticity Age Defying Eye Therapy, your eyes will always be smiling!
EYE GUARD PLUS Capsules -
The eyes have it! This exceptional formula contains over 14 active ingredients including the antioxidant nutrients Selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. This formula also contains Bilberry extract, which helps support eye function by promoting healthy circulation, and the carotenoids Beta Carotene and Lutein. Lutein plays a role in the maintenance of eye health and is the principle Carotenoid found in the central area of the retina called the macula. Adults can take four capsules daily with a meal.
EYEBRIGHT 470 mg. (whole herb) Capsules
SENIOR EYE VISION (formerly OCUPLEX)
Compare to Ocudyne. Puritan's Pride Senior Eye Vision capsules contain the antioxidant nutrients vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, PLUS other nutritive compounds specifically formulated to provide ocular nutrition.
Reduces Puffiness, Dark Circles and Tiny Lines. SKIN BECOMES SMOOTH, FIRM AND RETURNS TO ITS YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE. IMPROVED FORMULA IS ENRICHED WITH AN EXTRA DOSE OF CAMILLOSAN CAMOMILE FOR ENHANCED SMOOTHING AND FIRMING ACTION. ONLY CAMCARE CONTAINS CAMILLOSAN CAMOMLIE, SO RICH IN LEVOMENOL, FLAVONOIDS AND ESSENTIAL OILS- THE KEY COMPONENTS IN CAMOMILE- IT'S PATENTED WORLDWIDE. Manufactured by CAMOCARE
Inspect Your Own Eye -- Check Contact Lenses -- Our precision radius mirror with front surface coating allows you to inspect your own eye by simply holding the mirror approximately two inches in front of your eye. Ideal for contact lens wearers or to inspect for irritant particles. Mirror is two inc...
The Eyescope is a specially designed optical device that allows the user to explore the interior of their own eye. -- A tiny light, equivalent to starlight, incorporated with a parabolic mirror, reveals the landscape of the eye. You will be able to see "strings of pearls", "clusters of circles", "ra...
Late nights, early mornings, smoke-filled rooms, allergy season all can contribute to swollen, irritated eyes. Nourish this sensitive area while delivering immediate and measurable therapeutic hydration with our hypoallergenic water-based Enriched Eye Discs. Made with a moisturizing formula of green tea and aloe, they produce a soothing, cooling sensation upon contact. Includes two reusable 1" diameter discs per pack. USA.
Overuse, stress and advancing years can take a toll on your vision. Yoga for Your Eyes helps you improve your vision naturally with simple exercises from Tibetan yoga. A 65-page study guide explains vision improvement exercises. Pinhole Eyeglasses can be used as part of a self-training program, helping you naturally increase your capacity to focus in just 15 minutes a day. Includes complete workout program. Glasses and DVD, 74 minutes.
Magnetic therapy helps your body deal naturally with stiffness without drugs. Embedded with 8 therapeutic 1,000-gauss unipole neodymium magnets. Fits comfortably with adjustable hook-and-loop closures. Warm the gel insert to help increase circulation and ease congestion. Chilled gel insert soothes headaches and reduces puffiness around the eyes.
Treat your eyes to the "sunshine" light of Verilux HappyEyes, the "Sunshine in a Lamp" from Verilux, the Healthy Lighting Company. Patented lighting system simulates the full balanced spectrum of natural sunlight, helping to improve visual acuity. 5,000-hour bulb is remarkably energy-efficient with low 27-watt power needs. The floor lamp stands 54" tall and has a patented handle for convenient positioning.
Just 10 minutes a day can improve your eyes' ability to aim, track, focus
and team at work and at play.
Patented, clinically proven Exercise Your Eyes Total Vision Workout System with light tracking machine has 12 LEDs in alternating colors of red and blue.
Colored LEDs are preprogrammed to turn on and off in different directions, patterns and speeds positioned horizontally, vertically, diagonally; near and far and back again.
Included special glasses have colored lenses: one red, one blue.
Causes of Cataracts Causes of cataracts include cumulative ultraviolet radiation damage from sun exposure, heredity, poor nutrition, smoking, high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, and the long-term use of corticosteroids. (The last two are major risk factors for cataracts. Please also see the article on Sodium Lauryl[eth] Sulfate as a major cataract risk factor.) Oxidative free radicals produced by the above-listed causes are thought to damage vital biomolecules, including lipids and proteins, resulting in the clumping together of these proteins. The antidote to free radicals, of course, is antioxidants, such as Glutathione, Alpha Lipoic Acid - 300mg. Buy 1, Get 2 Free. Only $8.89! Expires: 3.31.08, and vitamins C and E. Consequently, many scientists believe that abundant consumption of antioxidants may delay the onset
of cataracts. Nutrients for Vision Good nutrition is a key element of effective prevention for most age-related diseases, and cataracts are no exception. A number of nutrients can benefit our eyes, and may help prevent diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. These nutrients include the tripeptide glutathione (the most abundant and important antioxidant in the human body, critical for protecting the lens from free radical damage); vitamins A and C; vitamin E and some of the B vitamins; various bioflavonoids (especially quercetin and hesperidin, e.g. Save 40% on Ester-C 500mg w Citrus Bioflavonoids at Puritan's Pride! Only $16.19 for 240 capsules. Buy Now) and carotenoids (especially lutein and zeaxanthin, e.g. Premium Carotenoids); the amino acids L-Taurine, N-Acetyl Cysteine (a precursor of glutathione), and L-CARNITINE; the hormone melatonin; the alkaloid, Vinpocetine; the herbs Bilberry, ginkgo, and garlic; the minerals zinc and selenium; and, last but certainly not least, the saturated fatty acid, lipoic acid, which plays a central role in maintaining the body's antioxidant network.1 L-Carnosine for Vision Carnosine a dipeptide consisting of two amino acids (alanine and histidine) connected to each other by a chemical bond called the peptide bond is one of the most exciting anti-aging nutrients that has recently become widely available.2 Based on research performed mainly by Russian scientists, it is believed that L-Carnosine is effective both in preventing and treating cataracts.3-6
The ability of L-Carnosine to prevent and treat cataracts is believed to be due to its antioxidant properties and its ability to inhibit a chemical process called glycation. Glycation leads to deleterious substances called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). AGEs are chemical complexes that result from common but undesirable reactions between blood sugars, such as glucose, and proteins in many parts of our bodies, including the lenses of our eyes. The sugar-protein complexes become chemically cross-linked and degrade cellular functions. The aptly named AGEs are thought to be an important factor in the aging process.
L-Carnosine - containing eye drops have demonstrated efficacy in treating a variety of ophthalmic conditions, including corneal diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, and increased intraocular pressure. In 1997, clinical trials with L-Carnosine-containing eye drops were conducted on 109 ophthalmic patients. The results confirmed accelerated healing of corneal erosions, trophic keratitis, post-herpetic epitheliopathy, primary and secondary corneal dystrophy, and bullous keratopathy.7 Most striking, however, was the ability of L-Carnosine to eliminate existing cataracts.8
Carnosine eye drops have been shown to delay vision senescence in humans, being effective in 100 percent of cases of primary senile cataract and 80 percent of cases of mature senile cataract. Scientists concluded that L-Carnosine seems to delay the impairment of eyesight with aging, effectively preventing and treating senile cataract and other age-related diseases.9 L-Carnosine actually restores the proteins in the lens by removing cross-linked carbonyl groups, and is thought to function as a "molecular water pump," thereby also helping to lower intraocular pressure.10 In earlier experiments it was demonstrated that applying L-Carnosine to the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the eye) caused a decrease in normal intra-ocular pressure and reduced prostaglandin-induced ocular hypertension (related to glaucoma) in rabbits.11
Some scientists believe that carnosine is ineffective if it is metabolized (broken down) by the enzyme, carnosinase. However, studies of corneal transplants in rabbits that were treated with one of the metabolites of L-Carnosine, Histidine (e.g. L Histidine -- 60 Tabs), indicates that the metabolite itself may be bioactive. Five percent histidine ointment was applied twice daily to 6 transplants for two months. All six transplants healed and were clear. On the other hand, transplants which were treated with daily applications of one percent cortisone became opaque, necrotic, and failed to heal. Likewise, transplantation failed completely in six control eyes.12 This indicates that histidine may be an active portionif not the active factorof the L-Carnosine molecule.
Cataract-Dissolving Analog: N-Acetyl Carnosine (NAC) N-Acetyl Carnosine (NAC), like its parent compound, L-Carnosine, occurs naturally throughout the human body. Both compounds are found primarily in the heart and skeletal muscles (the word Carnosine is derived from the Latin word for flesh) and in the brain. L-Carnosine was discovered in 1900 in Russia, and it is in Russia that most of the recent research on the N-Acetyl Carnosine derivative has been carried out.13-15 Research with N-Acetyl Carnosine, as with carnosine, demonstrates that it is effective not only in preventing cataracts but also in treating them. NAC has been shown to improve vision by partially reversing the development of the cataract, thus increasing the transmissivity of the lens to light.
The structural difference between NAC and L-Carnosine is that one hydrogen atom in L-Carnosine replaces an acetyl group (CH3CO-), and this substitution occurs at a nitrogen atom. An important chemical difference between L-Carnosine and N-Acetyl Carnosine is that L-Carnosine is relatively insoluble in lipids (fats and fatty compounds), whereas N-Acetyl Carnosine is relatively soluble in lipids (as well as in water).
This means that N-Acetyl Carnosine may pass through the lipid membranes of the corneal and lens cells more easily than L-Carnosine, and may thereby gain access more readily to the cells' interior, which is primarily aqueous. There, the N-Acetyl Carnosine is gradually broken down to L-Carnosine (and, perhaps, to histidine), which then exerts its beneficial effects.
N-Acetyl Carnosine also Reduces Cataracts In one study, Russian scientists conducted two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of 6-months and 24-months duration, with eye drops consisting of a one percent aqueous solution of NAC administered as two drops twice daily. They treated a total of 49 elderly patients (average age 65) with cataracts ranging in severity from minimal to advanced (but not to the point of requiring surgery); the total number of eyes affected was 76. Using a variety of sophisticated optical techniques, they monitored the condition of the cataracts, visual acuity, and glare sensitivity.
The eyes treated with NAC were substantially improved in 6 months: the measured transmissivity of the lenses increased in 42 percent of the eyes, by 12-50 percent; in 90 percent of the eyes, visual acuity improved by 7-100 percent; and in 89 percent of the eyes, glare sensitivity improved by 27-100 percent. These improvements were sustained for the duration of the 24-month trial. In no eyes was any worsening of the condition seen. By contrast, the condition of the untreated eyes in the control group worsened. Visual acuity dropped in 89 percent of the controls by 17-80 percent after 24 months.
Another interesting study by the same team also evaluated patients between the ages of 48 and 60, who had various degrees of eyesight impairment, but who did not have the symptoms of cataract. After a course of treatment ranging from 2 to 6 months, the conclusion was that the eye drops alleviated eye-tiredness and continued to improve eyesight (i.e. there was more clear vision). The subjects reported that the treatment "brightened" and "relaxed" their eyes. This is an important indicator that the eye drops have a value both for preventive purposes, as well as medical applications.
Conclusion Carnosine and N-Acetyl Carnosine eye drops appear to be a safe, effective means to prevent cataracts, and to possibly even treat cataracts that are forming. Although cataract surgery is safe and highly effective, the use of topical L-Carnosine or NAC eye drops may give many people another option.
1. Block, W. N-Acetyl Carnosine May Help with Cataracts. NAC eye drops show benefits in both preventing and treating this age-related condition. LE Magazine, Aug. 2003.
2. Bourassa, D., and Dêan, W. M.D. L-Carnosine: A Remarkable Multipurpose Anti-Aging Nutrient. Vitamin Research News, Vol. 14., Num. 11, Nov. 2000.
3. Babizhayev MA, Deyev A. Free radical oxidation of lipid and thiol groups in genesis of cataract. Biophysics (biofizika), 1986, 31, 119-125, Pergamon Journals Ltd.
4. Babizhayev MA, Deyev Al, Linberg LF. Lipid peroxidation as a possible cause of cataract. Mech. Ageing Dev. 1988, 44, 69-89.
5. Babizhayev MA, Antioxidant activity of L-carnosine, a natural histidine-containing di-peptide in crystalline lens. Biochem. Biophys. Acta., 1989a, 1004, 363-371.
6. Babizhayev MA, Deyev A. Lens opacity induced by lipid peroxidation products as a model of cataract associated with retinal disease. Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 1989b, 1004, 124-133.
7. Maichuk, IUF, Formaziuk, VE, Sergienko, VI. Development of L-Carnosine eyedrops and assessing their efficacy in corneal diseases. Vestn Oftalmol, 1997, 113(6): 27-31.
8. Yuneva, M.O., Bulygina, E.R., Gallant, S.C., et al. Effect of carnosine on age-induced changes in senescence-accelerated mice. J Anti-Aging Medicine, 2: 1999, 337-342.
9. Wang AM, Ma C, Xie H, and Shen, F. Use of carnosine as a natural anti-senescence drug for human beings. Biochemistry, 2000, 65(7), 869-871.
10. Baslow, MH. Function of the N-acetyl-L-histidine system in the vertebrate eye. Evidence in support of a role as a molecular water pump. J Mol Neurosci, 1998, 10(3), 193-208.
11. Ermakova, V.N., Babizhaev, M.A., Bunin, A.Ya. Effect of L-carnosine on intraocular pressure. Byull. Eksp. Biol. Med. 1988, 105(4), 451-453.
12. Borioni, D., and Scassellati-Sforzolini, G. The action of p-aminobenzoic acid, histidine, and cortisone on the success of corneal transplants, Am J Ophthalmol, 1953, 36: 575-576.
13. Babizhayev MA, Yermakova VN, Sakina NL, Evstigneeva RP, Rozhkova EA, Zheltukhina GA. N-Acetyl Carnosine is aproductg of L-carnosine in ophthalmic application as antioxidant. Clin. Chim. Acta., 1996, 254, 1-21.
14. Babizhayev MA, Yermakova VN, Deyev Al, Seguin M-C. Imidazole-containing peptiomimetic NAC as a potent drug for the medicinal treatment of age-related cataract in humans. J. Anti-Aging Medicine 2000a, 2, 43-62.
15. Babizhayev MA, Yermakova VN, Semiletov yu A, Deyev A. The natural histidine-containing di-peptide N-Acetyl Carnosine as an antioxidant for ophthalmic use. Biochemistry (Moscow), 2000b, 65, 588-598.
16. Babizhayev MA, Deyev AI, Yermakova VN, Semiletov YA, Davydova NG, Kurysheva NI, Zhokotskii AV, Goldman IM. N-Acetyl Carnosine, a natural histidine-containing dipeptide, as a potent ophthalmic drug in treatment of human cataracts. Peptides, 2001, 22: 979-94.
October 12, 2001
AREDS Study Results: Dietary Supplements Can Reduce Risk of Vision Loss from AMD.
Results from the long-anticipated AREDS study, published in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, show that taking supplements containing high levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduced the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Scientists have found:
The American Academy of Ophthamology
People at high risk for developing advanced stages of AMD lowered their risk by about 25 percent when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc.
- The supplements benefited patients with both the wet and dry forms of AMD.
- The supplements did not provide any apparent benefit for those with either early AMD (those with either several small drusen or a few medium-sized drusen in one or both eyes) or no AMD.
- Previous studies have suggested that people who have diets rich in green, leafy vegetables have a lower risk for developing AMD. However, the high levels of dietary supplements that were evaluated in this study are difficult to achieve from diet alone.
- The group taking the "antioxidant plus zinc supplements" reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25 percent and reduced risk of vision loss by about 19 percent.
- The group taking the "zinc alone" supplement reduced the risk for developing advanced AMD by about 21 percent and vision loss by about 11 percent.
- The group taking the "antioxidants alone" supplements reduced their risk for developing advanced AMD by about 17 percent and vision loss by about 10 percent.
- Some people with intermediate AMD may wish to consider whether or not they wish to take large doses of the supplements for medical reasons. For example, Beta-Carotene has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer among smokers. Taking supplements with zinc may cause a copper deficiency. The study also found high zinc levels were associated with genitourinary tract problems. Patients may want to discuss the best combination of supplements to take with their primary care physician.
- The impact of taking antioxidant-zinc combination supplements for decades is not known.
- The same supplements had no significant effect on the development or progression of cataract.
- For more information, visit the National Eye Institute's Website at www.nei.nih.gov/amd.
REPORTER: Anna Coren
BROADCAST DATE: July 5, 2004
For the purpose of clarity in identifying the culprit "vegetable oil" to which this article refers, we should understand the super-processed, super-industrialized vegetable oil ubiquitously made available in the supermarkets; they are usually super-extracted through the use of high heat, high pressure, and sometimes, harsh chemical catalysts not meant for human consumption. The end product seems "clean" because it is clear (super-processed oil is put in see-through bottles to attract customers) and it is tasteless. Consumers have to learn that "clear and tasteless" in this case means BIOLOGICALLY UNSAFE and TOXIC when it comes to edible oils.
The end product of super-extracted oil contains a host of toxic isomers including the deadly trans-fatty acid that hinders the glucose transport system among other free radical effects at the cellular level. Eating this type of oil can cause debilitating chronic ailments including diabetes. Learn more about these dangerous oils at the diabetes deception page.
I don't know why most consumers use these super-extracted "vegetable oils" these days except for deep frying - the heat of which creates a toxic isomer bath more worthy of lubricating your car than your guts.
"Age-related" macular degeneration is actually a super-convenient misnomer: Regular consumption of toxic isomers causes people to have all the signs of premature aging including grey hair,arthritiss, bad vision, the works. When we experience any "age-related" disease these days it's usually from premature aging due to ingesting toxic substances in our super-industrialized food supply on a regular basis.
Generations ago most people actually used edible oils for FLAVOUR! Besides maintaining good health, flavour is the reason for using virgin oils. You can also learn about healthy, flavourful virgin oils at the diabetic vitamin shopper page.
On the twisted hand, GREED is the main reason that the junk food industry incorporates hydrogenated oil and other types of toxic preservatives into their product (it increases shelf life of the product while decreasing the healthy lives of people who eat them).
In order to maintain the clarity in our definition, I have placed the legend, [super-extracted] in front of "vegetable oil" in this article. Your Health is Priceless, You're a Bioenergetic Spectrum!
Macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in Australia but new research suggests avoiding vegetable oils could prevent the condition.
It's spreading like a disease a blindness called macular degeneration affecting at least 800,000 Australians and costing $1.5 billion per year in health care.
But with the latest research pointing to vegetable oils as the main culprit, it's possible we may be able to fend off this disease by simply changing our diets.
You might not cook with vegetable or canola oil but take a look at the ingredients in any sauce, dip, bread, margarine or biscuit any processed food for that matter. [super-extracted] Vegetable oil is hidden in all of them.
Most of us have been consuming these processed foods from the time we could walk. Dr Paul Beaumont from the Macular Degeneration Foundation has been studying the link.
"[The research] showed that people eating vegetable oil got the disease twice as commonly as the people who didn't," Dr Beaumont said.
"Even more convincing was a prospective study where they looked at patients with the disease
and those eating too much [super-extracted] vegetable oil progressed at 3.8 times the rate of those eating a little [super-extracted] vegetable oil.
"You look at bread, they make it on margarine [a super-extracted, saturated vegetable oil], you look at currants and they've gone and sprayed [super-extracted] vegetable oil on them to stop them from sticking, you go and try and get tinned fish and they've put it in [super-extracted] vegetable oil.
"So yes, it's become ubiquitous, it's crept right into our food chain and you hardly know you're eating it."
Gwen Oliver was diagnosed with macular degeneration two years ago. She was astonished when Dr Beaumont told her to steer clear of [super-extracted] vegetable oil and to only cook with extra virgin olive oil.
"I was surprised about diet and all the products that we've been eating in the past," Ms Oliver
said. "We've always had it advertised that vegetable oil was far better for us."
The macular sits at the back of the eye. It's made up of many different nerve cells. The oils that you eat become part of your eye but normally they're used and flushed out.
When you're eating [super-extracted] vegetable oil, researchers believe the eye can't seem to biodegrade the oil and it ends up blocking the cells and causing macular degeneration.
"In the 1920s and 30s they started to get big presses that produced hundreds of tons of vegetable oil," Dr Beaumont said. "In 1957 margarine outsold butter so we've had this massive infiltration of our food chain by [super-extracted] vegetable oil."
Dr Beaumont says he doesn't envisage [super-extracted] vegetable oil being removed from all foods, but says there should be a consumer health warning.
"I think we have to have a warning on the packages similar to a warning of a cigarette package: '[super-extracted] vegetable oil can lead to macular degeneration'," he said.
The major reason for blindness in Australia 30 years ago was diabetes and it was rare to find macular degeneration. Today the condition has overtaken diabetes five-fold and is now the leading cause of loss of vision in Australia. Two-thirds of those who lose their vision are blind due to macular degeneration.
"I've seen an exponential rise from the early 1970s through to the 1990s," Dr Beaumont said. "If we look at Japan 40 years ago the disease was rare, now it's common."
"I don't think there's any doubt we have an epidemic."
Dr Paul Beaumont is horrified at the rate macular degeneration has multiplied. He's seen a tenfold increase in the last 30 years. "I think we could halve the number of people going blind with macular degeneration if we could change their diet, cut out the [super-extracted] vegetable oil," Dr Beaumont said.
When macular degeneration strikes, patients like Gwen Oliver are first given laser therapy to help
stem the bleeding. They're also told to look at a chart daily and if they see any difference in the
lines on the charts such as a straight line looking bent it's back to Dr Beaumont for treatment.
But for Jillian Price, laser therapy didn't work. Her last chance is a cutting edge treatment
called photodynamic therapy. It doesn't look like much but it causes plenty to happen inside the body.
"You inject a chemical that slowly accumulates in that blood vessel and doesn't accumulate in
normal tissues," Dr Beaumont said. "And then you shine a light on the eye and it selectively
activates that chemical that shuts down the abnormal tissue and [does] not damage the normal."
For Jillian Price, the disease has disabled her life as an active woman.
"Two months is very fast to lose so much sight; I've lost a lot of my independence," Ms Price
said. "The distance, everything is distorted, getting on the buses, shopping is very hard, I can't read labels any more."
"One day I was doing crosswords and the next day I couldn't."
A specialist told Colin Noble he'd be blind within 18 months. Luckily Colin sought a second opinion and today he's one of the lucky 10 per cent who regain vision after having photodynamic therapy.
Usually the treatment merely stops or slows down the degeneration.
"It's a miracle, I'm so grateful for this man," Mr Noble said. "It's had a big effect on my life
and my family's life it's allowed me to do so many things."
"I can still tie a fish hook, important things like that I'm a very lucky bloke."
Dr Beaumont has lobbied the federal Health Department to help fund this huge problem, but to date nothing has happened. "I think they should move fairly urgently," he said. "I don't think we can afford to delay in informing the public about something which can be affecting their vision."
The federal Health Department is looking into this massive problem but wouldn't tell us any more than that. As for the Australian Food and Grocery Council - the voice of the food manufacturers who use vegetable oil - they had nothing to say, except that they were waiting to hear more evidence linking [super-extracted] vegetable oil and macular degeneration.
"There are hundreds of thousands of Australians waiting for that advice," Dr Beaumont said. "And
I think the government has to move quickly."
For more information please contact the Macular Degeneration Foundation on 1800-111-709 or visit
Disclaimer: The information on seven.com.au is made available for information purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Also, the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information is not guaranteed. The Seven Network and Primus AOL do
not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health professional.
Drugs Company will only seek licence for medicine that costs 100 times more Sarah Boseley, health editor Saturday June 17, 2006 Guardian
A major drug company is blocking access to a medicine that is cheaply and effectively saving thousands of people from going blind because it wants to launch a more expensive product on the
Ophthalmologists around the world, on their own initiative, are injecting tiny quantities of a colon cancer drug called Avastin into the eyes of patients with wet macular degeneration, a common condition of older age that can lead to severely impaired eyesight and blindness. They report remarkable success at very low cost because one phial can be split and used for dozens of patients.
But Genentech, the company that invented Avastin, does not want it used in this way. Instead it is applying to license a fragment of Avastin, called Lucentis, which is packaged in the tiny quantities suitable for eyes at a higher cost. Speculation in the US suggests it could cost 1,000 per dose instead of less than 10. The company says Lucentis is specifically designed for eyes, with modifications over Avastin, and has been through 10 years of testing to prove it is safe.
Unless Avastin is approved in the UK by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) it will not be universally available within the NHS. But because Genentech declines to apply for a licence for this use of Avastin, Nice cannot consider it. In spite of the growing drugs bill of the NHS, it will appraise, and probably approve, Lucentis next year.
Although Nice's role is to look at cost-effectiveness, it says it cannot appraise a drug and pass it for use in the NHS unless the drug is referred to it by the Department of Health. The department says its hands are tied.
"The drug company hasn't applied for it to be licensed for this use. It wouldn't be referred to Nice until they have made the first move," said a Department of Health spokeswoman. "They need to step up and get a licence. If they are not getting it licensed, why aren't they?"
New drugs for the condition are badly needed: those we have now only slow the progression to blindness. With Avastin, many patients get their sight back with just one or two injections.
Avastin was first used on human eyes by Philip Rosenfeld, an ophthalmologist in the US, who was aware of animal studies carried out by Genentech that showed potential in eye conditions. This unlicensed use of Avastin has spread across continents entirely by word of mouth from one doctor to another. It has now been injected into 7,000 eyes, with considerable success.
Professor Rosenfeld has published his results and a website has been launched in the US to collate the experiences of doctors from around the world. But although the evidence is good, regulators require randomised controlled trials before they grant licences, which generally only the drug companies can afford to carry out.
Prof Rosenfeld said the real issue was drug company profits. "This truly is a wonder drug," he said. "This shows both how good they [the drug companies] are and on the flip side, how greedy they are." He would like to see governments fund clinical trials of drugs such as Avastin in the public interest.
Rising drug bills are a big problem on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, said David Wong, chairman of the scientific committee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, doctors are fighting battles to persuade primary care trusts to pay for drugs to stop their patients going blind while they wait for Nice to decide on Lucentis and another expensive drug called Macugen. That decision is not expected before the end of next year.
About 20,000 people are diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration in the UK each year. "From the patient's point of view, if they have an eye condition that deteriorates very quickly, there is no question of waiting," said Professor Wong. "We're talking about days and weeks, rather than months. The question is should we do nothing and say there is no randomised controlled trial to prove Avastin is of value?" He called for primary care trusts to agree to pay for the planned phasing-in of new drugs for the condition.
Last night Genentech said its main concern over the use of Avastin to treat eye conditions was patient safety. "While there are some small, single-centre, uncontrolled studies of Avastin being performed, safety data on patients who are treated with Avastin off-label is not being collected in a standard or organised fashion," said a spokeswoman for the company.
Pharmaceutical firms say they need to launch drugs at high prices because of the hundreds of millions of pounds spent on developing them. Critics point out that the company's calculations also include the marketing budget.
Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006
Eyelasticity is Gentle and Safe
Some people just look tired. They're not hard to spot. They've got wrinkles around their eyes, with dark circles and eye bags to match. Eyes speak of age with the full force of biology. And sometimes that hurts.
Look at the skin-care industry. At $150 Billion spent each year in the United States alone, it's pretty evident that people want to look young. There are skin-care solutions that work. Eyelasticity Age-Defying Eye Therapy is one of them. But sometimes consumers look to a different source...
Botulinum toxin, or botox, is a protein produced by the bacterium closteridium botulinum. You're probably familiar with botox as a cosmetic procedure to reduce wrinkles and produce a youthful appearance. Often associated with celebrities as an alternative to plastic surgery, botox was approved by the FDA in 2002 and is a popular procedure to temporarily "freeze" the facial muscles, which prevents crow's feet and wrinkles from forming.
BTX-A, or cosmetic botox, is an injection. Costing between $300-$700 per treatment, botox is a toxin that paralyzes nerve endings. By freezing specific muscles, botox blocks the neurotransmitters that tell your muscles to contract, preventing wrinkles. The effects typically last between six to eight months.
But there's a dark underbelly to botox that may surprise you. While botox is effective as a temporary measure to reduce wrinkles and preserve youthful features, it's also a neurotoxin that's extremely toxic. In fact, botox is the most toxic substance known to man. How potent is that? One nanogram of botox per kilogram is enough to cause death. Four kilograms (8.8 U.S. Pounds) of botox is enough to kill the human population of the planet.
Cosmetic botox is a small and diluted version, of course. Side effects include nausea, head aches and bruising. Botox has been linked to deaths in the past, and new research now links botox to muscle weakness, speech disorders and cognitive impairment.
What's unfortunate is that consumers expose themselves to botox to look young. Especially when you consider there's a safer, cheaper and proven solution that produces the same results.
Syn-ake is a synthetic peptide that mimics the muscle-freezing activity of the venom found in the Temple Viper snake. The amino acids in Syn-ake block specific sites in the muscle tissue, as does botox, and prohibits the muscle contractions that create wrinkles, laugh lines and crow's feet.
Syn-ake has developed a reputation in the skin-care industry as the "topical botox", and with good reason. Clinical studies show that Syn-ake reduces wrinkles in the forehead by up to 52%, making it particularly effective in reducing crow's feet, while preventing damage to the collagen matrix needed for vibrant, durable skin.
Eyelasticity reduces expression lines, dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. Safe, convenient and effective, Eyelasticity is a potent, yet gentle alternative to botox, medically proven to take years off aging eyes. In clinical studies, Eyelasticity reduced under-eye puffiness in 90% of volunteers, improved dark circles by 35% and stimulated collagen production by 1,190%.
Kinda makes you wonder why anyone would stick a deadly toxin in their forehead, doesn't it?
Vibrant young eyes are within your reach, without the poisons of botox. Try Eyelasticity Age-Defying Eye Therapy today, and show the world what sexy eyes are all about.
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Landmark Study on Macular Degeneration Published in The Archives of Ophthalmology.
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New Hope for Fighting Macular Degeneration
Did you know that age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 55? It affects 10 million people, more than glaucoma and cataracts combined, according to the American Macular Degeneration Federation. As of yet, this degenerative disease has no cure. But now, an innovative and groundbreaking U.S. government research study using a patented nutraceutical may herald the potential for improving vision and reversing vision loss....
Vision and Eye Health and Nutrition
Many factors can affect our vision, which is also a target for such conditions as cataracts and glaucoma. But age related macular degeneration, the leading causes of blindness for seniors, holds the biggest threat. However, recent studies have shown that specific supplement combinations may be effective at reducing and even reversing this condition....
Vision Loss is Not Inevitable
February is recognized by Prevent Blindness America as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)/Low Vision Awareness Month. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 55 in the United States today. But we have the information you need to possibly prevent and reverse the disease. Learn about the benefits of nutritional supplementation to your vision....
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