Macular Degeneration

Nebraska Medicine eye care professionals use the latest imaging technology and advanced treatments to help slow vision loss associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

While there is currently no cure for AMD, our specialists are actively engaged in researching new technology and treatments that will allow us to prescribe the most effective medications and treatment plans for you.

Patient Guides

Get treated for AMD at Nebraska Medicine because of our experience and expertise

We have served thousands of patients with AMD, and continue to research ways to improve their outcomes. It is very important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision you may have already lost from the disease. However, we know that specific amounts of certain supplements play a key role in helping some people at high risk for advanced AMD to maintain their vision.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you to determine your risk level for developing advanced AMD and to begin the process of creating a personal care plan for you.

What is AMD?

AMD is a progressive eye condition caused by damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the eye's retina that is responsible for our central vision. This condition affects both distance and close vision in as many as 15 million Americans, and is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 65.

What are AMD Causes and Treatments?

Although the exact causes of AMD are not fully understood, a recent scientific study shows that antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the effects of AMD in some people with the disease.

Among people at high risk for late-stage macular degeneration (those with intermediate AMD in both eyes or advanced AMD in one eye), a dietary supplement of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, along with zinc, lowered the risk of the disease progressing to advanced stages by about 25% to 30%. However, the supplements did not appear to benefit people with minimal AMD or those with no evidence of macular degeneration.

Light may affect the eye by stimulating oxygen, leading to the production of highly reactive and damaging compounds called free radicals. Antioxidant vitamins (vitamins C and E and beta-carotene) may work against this activated oxygen and help slow the progression of macular degeneration.

The Power of Zinc

Zinc is one of the most common minerals in the body and is concentrated in the eye; particularly in the retina and macula. Zinc is necessary for the action of over 100 enzymes, including chemical reactions in the retina.

Studies show that some older people have low levels of zinc in their blood. Because zinc is important for the health of the macula, dietary supplements of zinc may slow down the process of macular degeneration.

The levels of antioxidants and zinc shown to be effective in slowing the progression of AMD cannot be obtained through your diet alone. These vitamins and minerals are recommended in specific daily amounts as supplements to a healthy, balanced diet.