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ARMD and Dry Eye: Prevention and Protection

Writings by @DrBridgitte
amd combo

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the number one cause of irreversible vision loss in Americans over the age of 50. ARMD causes visual distortion as well as central vision loss.

The macula is the part of the retina responsible for providing sharp, straight-ahead vision. ARMD occurs when components of the macula cease to function properly, which leads to thinning of the macular tissue and build up of macular deposits called drusen. This is known as “dry” ARMD.


Vision with no ARMD


Central vision loss with ARMD

In more severe cases of macular degeneration, or “wet” ARMD, abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the macula. These vessels often leak blood under the macula, and results in central vision loss.

Many things may contribute to ARMD, including but not limited to, prolonged UV and blue-violet light exposure. Exposure to these wavelengths are thought to increase free radicals within the macula.

Wearing proper eyewear with both UV and blue light protection will help protect the macula by decreasing the amount of harmful light that is able to reach the macula.

macula comparison

Macular pigment is able to naturally protect the macula by filtering out some of the harmful blue-violet and UV light. However, when macular pigment is depleted due to insufficient diet and unhealthy lifestyle, the macula is more susceptible to oxidative damage. Studies have found that increasing the consumption of vitamins such as Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin may help to protect the macula by slowing down the damaging effects of free radicals and by increasing macular pigment.

MPOD diagram 2

Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found in dark, green, leafy vegetables. Many people find consuming the recommended amount of these vegetables difficult, and look to over-the-counter counter vitamins or nutritional supplements to fill their daily recommended dose of vitamins.

Lumega-Z is a vision-specific medical food that provides all 3 vitamins: Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin. Lumega-Z was designed specifically to restore and maintain a robust macular pigment.

Don’t have macular degeneration but would like to know what supplements you can take to protect your eyes? For much of the population, studies have shown an increase in the incidence of Modern Dry Eye due to increased digital device usage. 60% of people with Dry Eye Disease do not exhibit symptoms of dry eyes. We’ve started noticing a correlation between increased digital device use and increased meibomian gland dysfunction. Your eye doctor can diagnose Meibomian Gland Dysfunction with a device called LipiView.

For our patients who suffer from Dry Eye Disease, we recommend HydroEye supplements by ScienceBased Health.


HydroEye is formulated with omega-3’s like EPA/DHA from fish oil and GLA from black currant seeds. Omega-3 helps to fight the inflammation that is responsible for Dry Eye Disease. In addition, the HydroEye formulation includes vitamin A, a component necessary for mucin production. Mucin acts as the bottom layer of the tear film and helps to keep the tears on your eye.

Consult your doctor before taking HydroEye, as omega-3s can interfere with the effect of anti-coagulants (blood thinners).

Click here to order your  supply of Lumega-Z. Please contact our office for D.A.C (Doctor Authorization Code).

Click here to order your supply of Hydroeye. Please contact our office for PIN code.

Vision Optique email: [email protected]

Dr. Erica NgoAbout the Author Dr. Erica Ngo, O.D. is an optometrist fascinated by dry eye disease, ocular surface disease, and digital eye health. Dr. Erica Ngo is passionate about protecting and preserving eye health with a focus on aesthetics, makeup, and fashion. On her free time she enjoys latin dancing, food, travelling, and playing with her fluffy companion. She lives in Houston and is always looking for ways to explore and give back to her community.
Dr. Bridgitte Shen LeeAbout the Editor Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee is an optometrist and the co-founder of Vision Optique. She is passionate about helping people see better and live better lives, and inspiring other eye care professionals. Dr. Shen Lee writes and lectures on the topics of Digital Eye Health, Dry Eye Disease, Health Care Social Media, and Aesthetic Optometry.  She also enjoys raising her young daughters to be global citizens and volunteering her time and talent at schools and in the Houston community.

Written by Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee

Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee earned her Doctor of Optometry degree magna cum laude from the University of Houston College of Optometry. She is the co-founder of Vision Optique® and founder of iTravelCE®. Dr. Shen Lee writes and lectures on the topics of Digital Eye Health® , Dry Eye Disease, Anti-Aging Eye Care, Health Care Social Media, and Ocular Aesthetics. She has presented lectures, seminars, and scientific posters globally at the World Council of Optometry, Optometric Management Symposium, SECO International, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), American Academy of Optometry, and Vision Expo.
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