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Park Plaza Cinema presents The Untold Story of Lyme

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On April 5th, Park Plaza Cinema presents “Under Our Skin”, The Untold Story of Lyme Disease, in honor of the Park Plaza Cinema’s Operations Director, Vanessa Leite who is battling Stage 3 Lyme Disease.  Vanessa, a resident of Bluffton, was diagnosed in October 2015 after six grueling years of medical mystery and visits to over 30 specialists. Since starting with the cinema, Vanessa has met many people who are either suffering from Lyme Disease, had Lyme disease or have a loved one or friend impacted by this debilitating disease.

“People are truly unaware of the seriousness of Lyme Disease and we are seeing that now as we have grown closer to Vanessa. In light of that, Larry and I would like to bring awareness to the Lowcountry by showing the documentary and bringing expert speakers to share their knowledge about this disease,” said Lucie Mann, Owner of Park Plaza Cinema.

The event will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m. including food and wine provided by Whole Foods of Hilton Head and Burnin’ Down South in Okatie, along with many other health and wellness sponsors.  The documentary will begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by Q&A with experts in the field and several Lyme Disease warriors. The event is $10 per ticket and open to the public.

One difficulty in diagnosing Lyme disease is the fact that its symptoms are very broad. They seem to mimic those of other diseases and they vary from patient to patient. This documentary investigates the epidemic we are now facing and traces its flourishing to a negligent and corrupt health care system. Interviews with patients and doctors paints a clear picture of a medical industry that has decided to place profits ahead of the health of the people it is supposed to be treating.

As space is limited, attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at the Park Plaza Cinema box office or online at Tickets are on sale now.

Younger looking skin…the rest of the story

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By Dr. Robert Knitzer

No matter what our age, we all want to look our best. Many of us are also thinking about ways to turn back the hands of Father Time.

The Skincare/Beauty Industry has a multitude of products all claiming to promote “younger looking skin.” From soothing to superficial, there is a huge spectrum of offerings. But how many of these products actually help the body to be healthier?

Recently the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health analyzed 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products. What they found was astonishing. Eight hundred and eighty-four of the chemicals were toxic; 314 caused biological mutations; 218 caused reproductive complications; 148 caused tumors and 376 caused skin and eye irritations. This is unacceptable in this day and age. Industry can do better.

In my previous article of January 21, I discussed a safe, non-toxic, breakthrough health technology which promotes accelerated cellular healing based upon the cutting edge science of Redox Biochemistry. In this article, I want to share some of the recently completed science studies in this new field and what this means for us in our never ending quest to look younger.

To truly look younger you need to be younger at the cellular level. Cells are the building blocks of all tissues, organ systems, in fact, the entire body. Here Redox Biochemistry, through the creation of tiny signaling molecules gives our bodies messages of what needs to be done to rejuvenate healthy cells and either repair or replace damaged cells.

Unfortunately, over time, due to stress and the barrage of environmental toxins in our lives, our immune function declines and normal skin cell function is diminished. We lose the balance of redox signaling molecules required for optimal health.

One company has developed a skin renewal product based on this technology. It has undergone independent testing by global leaders in dermatologic research. Dermatest Lab in Germany has done several studies on this product. Their initial studies on women using this product alone for 28 days showed an improvement in six key areas of skin health: decreased eye wrinkle depth and overall wrinkle depth of greater than 20%; increases in facial skin texture, skin smoothness, skin elasticity of greater than 20% and an increase in skin moisture of 11%.

A more recent clinical study on cellulite noted a 20% increase in skin elasticity and an improvement in the appearance of cellulite. Based upon these findings and its safety, the product was given Dermatest’s coveted 5-star clinically tested seal of excellence.

Stephens & Associates in Dallas, Texas performed studies on the topical gel applied to one forearm. It found skin cell renewal and turnover was increased by 16% in that arm as compared to the arm without the redox signaling gel. They also studied whether there was increased blood flow in the skin as an explanation of enhanced skin healing. Those results indicated a 49% immediate increase after first application which increased to 55% by day 4.

Combined, these studies indicate that the application of the redox signaling gel enhanced replacement of damaged skin cells with healthy cells and increased blood flow and oxygenation to the treated area.

This is a safe, revolutionary and foundational approach to how we think about and improve skin health. “And Now You Know The Rest Of The Story.”

The secret power that lives inside of us

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By Brittney Hiller

Sleep walking through life, like a Zombie straight out of “The Walking Dead”, you know them you’ve seen them, the people who go about their business everyday doing the same thing and not thinking twice about it. That was me at twenty-five, until I was smacked in the face by reality.

You see, my ‘sleep walking’ was unhealthy, it looked more like a college freshman who was raised by a pastor and had never seen the light of day, but yet was free for the first time. It was early morning work hours to late night wine and cheese parties that often ended with a jug of wine emptied. This was my ‘real life’.

My turning point was when an incident occurred to me that literally caused me to have to WAKE UP, wake up from the sleep walking, wake up from the ‘routine’ that I created, wake up to the truth that my life was unhealthy.

After this incident I completely detached from my body mentally because I wanted to pretend that I didn’t actually have a pregnancy caused by a date gone wrong. Seven months in I was hit with my ah-ha moment, something is going to happen whether I liked it or not. I quickly turned to my sister for help and I knew adoption was my answer. I am forever grateful to my sister as she helped to catapult me into a cycle of coming clean.

Not a single person knew of my plight for seven months, not even my fresh, new, brightly lit smiling, boyfriend. He would ask often and I neglected to tell him the truth each time, coyly referring to my growing belly as a beer gut.

I wanted to continue to see him, but I didn’t want him to feel sorry for me and feel he ‘had’ to stay with me because I was ‘the pregnant girl’, regardless of my reason for not being honest, in my mind and body I felt, “I am not pregnant, this will pass.” However, he knew, he knew from the beginning and yet, I continued to lie, until I simply could not lie anymore.

Fast forward to the moment I came clean and let my belly fly free, no longer holding it in or pretending. My mother became concerned and I finally let the tears flow and the truth to soar. A whirlwind of positive experiences occurred after I told my story. Friends, family, and strangers even began to assist in the ease of this transition. What about my bright, smiling boyfriend? He was next to my side, holding my hand during my chosen caesarean delivery, as to ease the adoption process. To this day he holds my hand, shows me what actual strength and true courage is, and helps guide my big dreams. I am truly honored to be his wife.

Through this life event I could have been bogged down with turmoil and emotion, beating myself up and believing I was undeserving of love, yet instead I saw the power in gifting a child, unassuming to my situation, to a loving family.

I began to lead life with an open heart. It was as if I awoke from a dream, I awoke from my robotic way of life. I was finally able to see me, with a little help from my friends.

I began to share my secret power, my story. With those that I shared with they began to share their story, too. Stories all around were being shared because I opened up the floor; lives were being shifted because they saw another option to what ever they may have been troubled by. You see, whatever your story, whatever your pain, you can be the light for others through your sharing. When we hold our stories in, it creates heaviness, when we let it out we become lighter in all ways and we shine.

Dropless Cataract Surgery: What are the potential risks?

in Contributors/Dr. Mark Siegel, MD FAAO/Health by

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

Cataract surgery continues to evolve, with microincisional clear corneal incisions, femtosecond lasers, new imaging modalities, and improved lens implants. However, the published literature is having trouble keeping up with clinical practice. Despite the ongoing change, one concern remains constant: endophthalmitis (infection) prophylaxis. The use of perioperative povidone-iodine, a lid speculum, and drape with isolation of lids and lashes, and sterile preparation, is effective in limiting the incidence of endophthalmitis after cataract surgery.

The recent advent of “dropless” cataract surgery via transzonular ocular injections of TriMoxi or TriMoxiVanc, offers another option of infection prophylaxis. As some cataract surgeons consider adopting dropless cataract surgery it is important to balance the potential complications and risks involved with this technique.

These combinations of antibiotics and steroids are delivered to the anterior vitreous (jelly that fills the back of the eye) by injection through the zonules (tiny spider web-like ligaments that anchor the lens to the wall of the eye). This is intended to mitigate the need for post-operative topical drops. Drops can be costly, can irritate the surface of the eye, can be difficult for some patients to administer and can be burdensome to prescribers. Though post-operative drops are less than ideal, this new mode of dropless infection prophylaxis contains some inherent risks.

A clear concern is compounding errors. There have been reports of dilutional errors with intraocular antibiotics that have resulted in complications including macular swelling, retinal detachment, macular infarction, toxic anterior segment syndrome (severe inflammation) and a large outbreak of Fusarium endophthalmitis.

The pharmacokinetics of TriMoxi(+/-) Vanc is unclear when placed in the anterior vitreous. These antibiotics have the shortest half-life of current intravitreal antibiotics being used (1.7 hours). Vancomycin has a half-life of 25.1 hours. Routine topical antibiotics are able to produce concentrations inside the eye for a week post-operatively. While one European study showed decreased rates of endophthalmitis with injected antibiotics, all arms of the study used 6 days of topical postoperative antibiotics! The question remains: is the duration of coverage with injected antibiotics without topical antibiotics adequate?

Antibiotic resistance is another consideration when using TriMoxi. Emerging resistance has been identified. A recent review found resistance rates to moxifloxacin has increased from 21% in 1995 to 62% in 2014.

The use of prophylactic vancomycin in TriMoxiVanc during routine cataract surgery is controversial. The Centers for Disease Control issued guidelines in 1995 specifically discouraging the use of vancomycin in routine surgical prophylaxis because of increasing bacterial resistance. The risk of fueling the emerging resistance to vancomycin for an unproven practice is worrisome. Given that there are more than 3 million cataract surgeries performed in the United States each year, exposure of the ocular surface to low doses of vancomycin could result in an increase in vancomycin resistant bacteria.

Another unknown is the risk of steroid-induced ocular hypertension (elevated eye pressure) associated with TriMoxi(+/-) Vanc. It is well known that topical steroids can induce ocular hypertension, but drops are easily discontinued, whereas injected intraocular steroids are not. Currently there is a paucity of literature addressing transzonular triamcinolone (the steroid component in TriMoxi) and its associated ocular hypertension risk. Furthermore, the use of triamcinolone leaves patients with obscured vision and floaters for the first week or more. Patient complaints of foggy vision postoperatively have led some cataract surgeons to discontinue the product. Many randomized trials show that topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are superior to topical steroids in reducing post-operative macular swelling after cataract surgery. Thus, regardless of the intraocular steroid and antibiotic used, it is likely that a topical NSAID will need to be prescribed.

Technical and mechanical issues must be considered in addition to issues of bacterial resistance, compounding risks, steroid-induced elevated eye pressure, and post-operative foggy vision. In patients with lens zonular weakness (pseudoexfoliation), intraocular lens (IOL) decentration or dislocation may occur. The impact of this technique for premium IOL decentration could create significant visual disturbance. Since most patients using blood thinners do not discontinue this medication, there could be intraocular hemorrhage from inadvertent cannula contact with the iris ciliary muscle. Finally, very short eyes may not have the space to accommodate the injected volume of these antibiotic and steroid preparations.

Today’s cataract surgery is safer for the patient and shorter in duration than in decades past. Improvements in technology, techniques, and training have led to improved outcomes for our patients. Although the concept of dropless cataract surgery is clearly attractive, cataract surgeons should consider the serious issue of bacterial resistance and the unnecessary risk of the transzonular delivery of TriMoxi(+/-) Vanc. In an era of increasing cost-benefit analysis where physicians will be judged on outcomes and the allocation of limited healthcare resources, the value of dropless cataract surgery remains uncertain, risky and currently not the standard of care.

An early start for happy smiles

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By John Wise, DMD

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM). The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and several other organizations are working tirelessly to educate the population on preventative care.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states “…early childhood caries, the disease process that leads to tooth decay, cavities, and tooth pain is the #1 chronic disease affecting young children…” It is 5 times more prevalent than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.

One question that parents ask is “When should my children have their first dental visit?” It is recommended that the first visit should occur at approximately one year of age, but many parents bring their child in when the first tooth erupts, around 3 to 6 months of age.

The first visit will be a very quick evaluation, but it will be beneficial, nevertheless. It will give the child early exposure to the dental environment and help prevent future anxiety about dental visits. It is an opportunity for the dentist to provide appropriate counseling to the parents regarding developmental expectations and appropriate hygiene.

Some parents have made the mistake of letting a newborn fall asleep with a milk or juice bottle in his or her mouth. Don’t let this happen! Milk has lactose in it, which means it contains two-sugars, glucose and galactose. This behavior leads to milk bottle caries, and can cause badly decayed teeth which in some cases, are not able to be fixed! Plus, the bottle nipple will slowly move newly developing teeth into awkward positions. A thumb-sucking habit or extended pacifier use can have a similar effect.

We all have our favorite snacks which are typically a part of our daily diet. Whether they be crackers, candy, or sugary beverages, it is extremely important to limit the frequency of consumption. Every time a snack with high-sugar content is consumed, the bacteria inherent in the oral cavity digests some of the readily available sugar and secretes lactic acid which breaks down tooth enamel and causes cavities. It does not lead to serious problems as long as there is a limit to the number of “meals” each day.

Cheese is a wonderful alternative to high-sugar snacks. An article from the National Institute of Health analyzed the effect of cheese in cavity prevention. Primarily, cheese helps to stimulate salivary flow which will aid in removing food debris from your mouth. The alkaline nature of saliva will also buffer against the acidity produced by bacteria. Lastly, the high calcium and phosphorous content of cheese may play a role in the remineralization process of tooth enamel. However, copious consumption of cheese can lead to other health concerns like obesity or constipation, so moderation is key.

While regular dental visits will aid in cavity prevention, another benefit is that teeth problems can be identified early. Growth patterns in the upper and lower jaws vary widely among individuals, and some children may be pre-dispositioned to “crooked” or “crowded” teeth. In order to correct the poorly positioned teeth, orthodontic, or in some cases, surgical intervention may be required. However, the earlier these abnormalities are identified the easier it is to correct them.

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to children’s dentistry as well as most other aspects of life. No child should have to suffer tooth pain or endure oral irregularities. These simple steps of preventive care can ensure a healthy, happy smile for years to come.

Smile for a Lifetime Foundation to give twelve local students free braces

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Smile for a Lifetime Foundation is a non-profit, national foundation established to give scholarships for braces to needy, deserving children 7 to 17 years old. The Beaufort, Hampton, and Jasper (B-J-H) Chapter of Smile for a Lifetime is receiving applications for twelve scholarships to be given this year. The applicant must be a B-J-H resident living as a dependent with parent or guardian whose total income is below poverty level. Applications may be picked up at all eight B-J-H Comprehensive Health sites, The Beaufort, Bluffton, Jasper, and Hampton Health Departments, WBHC 92.1 Radio, The Hampton County Guardian, The Jasper County Sun, or download the application at

The average value of each orthodontic scholarship is $5,500. The Foundation thanks Dr. Skeet Burris and Dr. Travis Fiegle for changing lives with each new smile for a lifetime. The application deadline is March 15, 2016.

Dr. Majd Chahin to lead Beaufort Memorial Medical Oncology practice

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Advanced oncology nurse practitioners Kathryn Jones (left) and Susanne Baisch (right) with Dr. Majd Chahin (middle).
Advanced oncology nurse practitioners Kathryn Jones (left) and Susanne Baisch (right) with Dr. Majd Chahin (middle).

Beaufort Memorial Hospital has acquired Sea Island Cancer Center, the longtime practice of Dr. Majd Chahin. His practice, now named Beaufort Memorial Medical Oncology, remains in the same location in the Beaufort Memorial Keyserling Cancer Center and continues to offer treatment for a wide array of cancers as well as benign hematological conditions.

Chahin, a board-certified hematology/oncology specialist, will continue to work with his staff, including advanced oncology nurse practitioners Kathryn Jones and Susanne Baisch.

Since opening his former practice in the Keyserling Cancer Center in 2006, Chahin has worked closely with Beaufort Memorial to develop a comprehensive cancer program to serve patients in the Lowcountry. He will continue to serve as both medical director of Beaufort Memorial Oncology Services and principal investigator for the hospital’s clinical trials program.

A graduate of Syria’s Tishreen University School of Medicine, Chahin completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Lutheran Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, followed by a three-year fellowship in hematology/oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.

Jones, born and raised in Beaufort, is an advanced oncology certified nurse practitioner. She began working with Chahin in 2003 after earning her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University’s Honors College and her master’s degree in nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina. Prior to that, she served as an RN first in the Beaufort Memorial Emergency Department, then on the hospital’s third floor.

Baisch, a longtime Beaufort resident who received a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Carolina, also holds an advanced oncology nurse practitioner certification. During her 17-year career as a health care provider, she worked as both a nurse and a nurse practitioner at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and several Lowcountry medical practices before joining Chahin’s practice in 2014.

Trigger finger: what is it and how is it treated?

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By Dr. Edward R. Blocker

Trigger finger is one of the more common problems that can affect your hand. Its name is not meant to imply that it affects the finger used to fire a weapon. It can actually affect any finger or thumb.

The name “trigger finger” is a descriptive term of what the finger feels and even looks like when the symptoms occur. After making a fist or closing your hand around an object, the trigger finger (or thumb) will catch or “trigger” as you try to straighten it back out. In extreme cases, you may have to use your other hand to straighten it. These triggering episodes can be mild or can cause quite a bit of pain. There is often a painful nodule that can be felt in the palm at the base of the triggering finger.

Although it may feel like the problem is in your knuckle, it is caused by a problem with the tendon that controls your finger.

Our tendons are like puppet strings. Muscles pull the tendons which then move your fingers. There are tendons on the palm side of your hand that when pulled cause your finger or thumb to flex down into your palm to make a fist. The tendons on the backside of your hand pull your fingers back out straight.

The tendons that bend (flex) your finger down are more complex than the ones that straighten them out. These flexor tendons pass through a sheath as they slide back and forth to move your fingers. At times, the tendon can get hung up or caught as it passes through this sheath. This causes the finger to catch or “trigger.” An analogy would be a large knot of fishing line that can’t easily pass through the rings on a fishing pole. The knot hangs up in a ring and if enough pull is applied, suddenly passes through.

It is generally a simple problem to treat.

Option 1: It might resolve on its own. We call this treatment “tincture of time” or “benign neglect.”

Option 2: The simplest treatment option would be to try an anti-inflammatory such as Advil or Motrin. This can have the affect of quieting down the inflammation around the tendon so that it can glide through its sheath without catching. Not everyone can take anti-inflammatories so if in doubt check with your medical provider.

.Option 3: A cortisone injection near the tendon can sometimes cure this problem. Cortisone is a strong steroid anti-inflammatory that is put right at the source of the problem. This can quiet the inflammation and allow the tendon to glide back and forth without catching.

Option 4: A simple outpatient procedure can be done to open the area of the tendon sheath where the triggering occurs. This also allows the tendon to glide back and forth without catching.

In my practice, if someone comes in with a trigger finger, they’ve usually already put up with it for a while (option 1) and it hasn’t gone away. They have also often tried an anti-inflammatory (option 2). So the next step I usually recommend is an injection. Sometimes a patient will say they don’t want an injection because it’s “just temporary.” However, in the case of trigger finger, an injection can sometimes cure the problem and is therefore usually worth a try before resorting to surgery.

Of course, sometimes an injection is temporary or doesn’t work at all. If it worked 100% of the time we’d never have to do the surgery. So for those that have persistent, bothersome triggering not relieved with the other three options, or who simply don’t want a shot, surgery is an option and has a very high likelihood of success.

Trigger finger is one of the more common hand conditions we see in orthopaedic practices. While it is usually not debilitating, it is usually very annoying. Fortunately, we have relatively simple treatment options that are likely to be curative.

Edward R. Blocker, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Beaufort Memorial Orthopaedic Specialists. A graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. Blocker completed his internship and residency at the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center and the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children – Greenville Unit. He has been practicing in Beaufort for the past 18 years.

Pre-sent from the past and into the future

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By Martha O’Regan

We are living in a very exciting time as human consciousness continues to expand in ways that even a few years ago were only shared by a small number of open minded individuals and certainly not in a public arena. Now the lines that have kept so many structures separate are beginning to soften, blur or completely vaporize as families and communities come together to discuss ways to grow, create change and evolve as a culture. Diversity in ideas and beliefs are more accepted as the need to judge someone else’s views as right or wrong, bad or good, is being replaced with the ability to see that many parts create the whole. No longer are we settling that everything has to look a certain way or that we need to follow the ‘sheeple’ by doing what everyone else is doing. We are beginning to believe again in the power of love, compassion, equality, and joy more than we can remember.

There are many scientists, teachers, guides and gurus out there sharing the fact that we create our reality from things we can’t touch, see, hear, or often even imagine and we’re buying it…at least as much as our brains can handle. Why? I believe it is because we can sense it deep in our core as a spiritual knowingness that has always been there, but is just recently re-awakening. The challenge is that even when we can feel it, we still want it to make sense and to be able to have an intelligent linear conversation about it, yet the quantum world is far from sensible or linear. Books about returning from near death experiences, reuniting with past lives, setting intentions or manifesting your dreams, goals and desires all share the same theme…..we are bigger than we think we are. We are more than we can think we are because we are infinite and go beyond space and time. That is all fine and good, but, what about right here, right now? How do we use this amazing knowledge to live in our world today, pay our bills, manage a home and family, and maintain health and well-being? The answer we are given is to live consciously each and every moment, watch what unfolds based on what shows up in front of us, and simply ask ‘how is this serving my highest good’, ‘what is this teaching me’ or ‘how/why the heck did I create this’? Sounds so simple…just not always easy, especially at first while we learn to weed through all of the distractions that we have created to make our lives make sense or to keep us safe. These are the structures we can begin to dissolve as we choose to wake up to new possibilities.

I just love looking at words and trying to imagine who made them up and what they must have been thinking at the time. While contemplating what it means to stay in the present moment, I saw the word through the quantum field and it hit me that each moment has been pre-sent from something I thought, said, heard, believed or created from the past. Likewise, every thought, word and deed that I may be having right now is being pre-sent to become my future. Whoa….right? That moment changed everything for me allowing me to catch those thoughts that I certainly have no desire to manifest on any level, and shift them immediately into something that I would love to create. Of course, I miss a few along the way so when that unexpected or bizarre experience shows up ‘out of nowhere’, I can trust that it is ‘just what I asked for’ from somewhere in my past and can begin to explore the ‘why’ without judgment or upset but with curiosity and discovery. So, take the challenge to observe what shows up as this ‘pre-sent’ moment without judgment and take care in what you pre-send into tomorrow. Live Awake….Have Fun!

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

in Contributors/Dr. Mark Siegel, MD FAAO/Health by

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

Macular degeneration is a major cause of irreversible vision loss in the United States and around the world. As many as 11 million Americans have some form of macular degeneration. To observe Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month, Sea Island Ophthalmology is offering tips for prevention, early detection, and treatment of the condition.

Facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

The number of people living with any form of macular degeneration is similar to that of those who have been diagnosed with all types of invasive cancers.

As many as 11 million people in the United States have some form of AMD. This number is expected to double by 2050.

AMD is the result of deterioration of a central area of the retina called the macula, which is the location of central vision. This deterioration can make vision become blurry or wavy. It can also result in a blind spot in the center of your vision.

Age is a major risk factor for developing AMD. Other risk factors include: a history of smoking, hypertension, and family history. AMD is more common among women and Caucasians but is seen among all races.

There are two types of AMD: dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular or exudative). Most AMD starts as the dry type and in 10-20 percent of individuals, it progresses to the wet type.

Age-related macular degeneration is always bilateral (i.e., occurs in both eyes), but does not necessarily progress at the same pace in both eyes. It is therefore possible to experience the wet type in one eye and the dry type in the other.

Tips for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Prevention and Treatment

If you have a family history of AMD, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam yearly after the age of 50.

AMD occurs less often in people who exercise, avoid smoking, and eat nutritious foods including green leafy vegetables and fish. If you already have AMD, adopting these habits may help you keep your vision longer.

Although some vision loss from AMD is irreversible, effective treatments can slow down progression or in some cases reverse vision deterioration.

Nutritional supplement formulations containing antioxidants and zinc (studied in the AREDS and AREDS2 clinical trials) have been shown to slow the disease in those who have intermediate AMD and those with advanced AMD in only one eye.

Anti-VEGF injections (medication specifically aimed at stopping the progression of the abnormal blood vessels that cause the vision loss) are an effective treatment for the wet or neovascular form of AMD and may control or reverse vision loss if administered shortly after the onset of vision loss. Early recognition of vision change, evaluation by an ophthalmologist, and starting proper medical treatment may be sight-saving.

Anti-Complement treatments and Stem cell therapies are promising treatments for the advanced dry form of AMD, which are being studied in multiple clinical trials.

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