Do you know the main cause of Macular Degeneration?
The main cause of Macular Degeneration is basically a breakdown of the support tissue that maintains the Macula.
The Macula is located roughly in the center of The Retina, temporal to the optic nerve. It is a small and highly sensitive part of the retina responsible for detailed central vision. The fovea is the very center of the macula. The macula allows us to appreciate detail and perform tasks that require central vision such reading.
It begins with the accumulation of waste and lipid deposits that clog this support tissue, making it impossible to keep the macula’s rods and cone cells clean and supplied with adequate oxygen.
Without adequate oxygen, the rods and cones eventually asphyxiate.
In wet Macular Degeneration, abnormal, unstable blood vessels grow thought the support tissue, probably in response to the lack of oxygen.
Ironically, these vessels are prone to leaks, which feed the rods and cones with blood, asphyxiating them even more quickly.
But why does this whole cycle of oxygen deprivation from accumulated waste and lipids begin in the first place.
There are TWO prominent theories that answer this question:
1. The Cause of Macular Degeneration could be Poorly Functioning Blood Vessels:
In this scenario, the blood vessels supplying the macula’s support tissue do no pick up waste efficiently enough or deliver oxygen consistently enough.
As a result, the macula becomes clogged with waste and lacks adequate oxygen. The lack of oxygen kills the support tissue cells and then the rod and cove cells of the macula itself.
In the case of wet AMD, new abnormal vessels grow in a kind of misguided effort to supply more oxygen. As we know, these new vessels are weak and prone to leaking, al all they actually wind up doing is wreaking havoc.
The question becomes:
Why do the blood vessels become over whelmed and fail to do their job? The answer may be that the job is to stressful because the waste is too hard to pick up.
2. The Cause of Macular Degeneration could be Abnormal Waste Tips:
In this scenario, the real culprit is damaged or abnormal waste. Rod and cone cells have disposable lipid (fatty) tips. When they process light and metabolize oxygen, the tips fall off as waste and new tips grow.
Normally these tips are collected from the macula by the RPE – a layer of tissue supporting the macula – and transported on a “conveyor belt” to waiting blood vessels.
These vessels flush the waste tips in the bloodstream. But abnormal waste tips lack the handles the PRE uses to identify them and drag them away, so they sit around, taking up space and making it difficult to the RPE to supply fresh oxygen deliveries.
The lack of oxygen kills first PRE cells and then the rods and cones. Of course, if may also trigger the growth of abnormal leaky blood vessels.
The question in this scenario becomes:
What is casing the waste tips to be abnormal?
So which scenario is it?
We don’t know yet what the cause of Macular Degeneration is:
It may even be a combination of both.
But either way, free radicals play a role.
Understanding that role explains why age, smoking, blue or light colored eyes, a family history and our diets are all-risk factors -- and it tells us what we can do to reduce our risk.
If you want to find more information you should check out these
Free Radical and Antioxidant Books
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