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Neovascular age-related macular degeneration associated with lower vitamin D levels and greater rates of deficiency

Posted on: June 27, 2014   by  Will Hunter

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Research from the journal Retina has found that vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration compared to non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a medical condition that involves the loss of vision in the center of the visual field (macula) due to damage to the retina. It usually affects older adults and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in elderly patients. There is no cure for AMD, however, supplementation with high-dose antioxidants have been found to reduce the progression of the disease.

Macular degeneration can be classified as either “dry” or “wet.” “Dry” macular degeneration is also known as non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NNVAMD) and causes vision loss due to loss of photoreceptors, which are the cells that detect light.

“Wet” macular degeneration is known as neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD) and causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth. NVAMD makes up only 10% of all AMD cases, although NVAMD commonly occurs in individuals with advanced cases of AMD.

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