Eye Pigment and Macular Degeneration

Yellow pigments, called carotenoids, can filter the blue light and protect the eyes from developing certain diseases. Dr. Welder and Dr. Picken of Prairie Vision Center tell us, “Blue light from many sources including new types of lighting and digital screens has received a great deal of attention in eye care recently.” And while the tendency for blue light to strain vision is a real threat, a potentially even bigger threat is its implication in the development of eye diseases like age related macular degeneration (AMD). This type of light can overwhelm the tissues leading to free radicals. “Every year people in the Wahpeton and Fargo-Moorhead areas are diagnosed with eye diseases caused free radicals”, Dr. Welder and Dr. Picken note. These are abnormally configured molecules that are thought to lead to many age related eye conditions that are diagnosed and treated at Prairie Vision Center. Fortunately, the retina has a built in defense mechanism-pigment.

The problem with macular pigment is the body can’t make it, and not everyone gets enough of it in their diet to protect the eye. These pigment molecules are found in various foods, mainly vegetables. The body’s ability to take in and assimilate carotenoids appears to vary from person to person. “The long term studies looking at preventing AMD are ongoing”, according to Dr. Picken who practices in Wahpeton, ND and Moorhead, MN. However, it is believed those with more macular pigment see better including having better contrast sensitivity. Dr. Welder, who has practiced optometry in Wahpeton for over 20 years says, “Even those with AMD can supplement their macular pigment and gain a vision boost. So it makes sense to gain better vision now and protect your eyes for the future.”

Dr. Welder and Dr. Picken are proud to offer MacuHealth supplements, now at Prairie Vision Center. MacuHealth boasts a 40% risk reduction in developing worsening AMD as opposed to other supplements that only offer a 20% reduction. MacuHealth includes a trilogy of carotenoid pigments, including meso zeaxanthin- the only macular pigment located within the central macula where vision is the most vulnerable. Prairie Vision Center sees patients in the Wahpeton and now in the Fargo-Moorhead area. They use the latest in diagnostic technology to determine if MacuHealth supplements are right for the patients they care for.

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