Macular Degeneration

Older man smiling in the kitchenBoth doctors and the public have shown growing interest in the relationship between diet and health. Good nutrition depends on a healthy mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is needed for the building blocks and chemical machinery of our bodies; carbohydrates are needed for immediate fuel and energy; fats are needed for long term storage of fuel and energy. Vitamins are organic compounds that our bodies cannot manufacture but are essential for maintaining good health. The eye, like any other part of the body, benefits from a healthy diet. Although the exact causes of macular degeneration are not understood, there is some evidence that vitamins and minerals may play a preventive role. Macular degeneration is damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the retina responsible for central vision. It affects both distance and close vision and can make some activities–like threading a needle or reading–very difficult or impossible.

Chart showing a healthy eye, compared to one with macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe visual loss in people over 65.

Zinc, one of the most common minerals in our body, is very 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 some older people have low levels of zinc in their blood. Because zinc is important for the health of the macula, some think that supplements of zinc in the diet may slow down the process of macular degeneration.

Scientific studies are not complete and there is no agreement concerning the value of zinc supplements. It is possible that too much zinc may interfere with other trace minerals such as copper. Normal chemical reactions from light in the eye activate oxygen that may cause macular damage. Some vitamins function as antioxidants that work against this activated oxygen. It may be claimed that antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C, and E) can help slow down macular degeneration and other aging problems.

As in the controversy over zinc, there is no agreement that these antioxidants actually help macular degeneration. The first step to overall good health is a balanced diet. Vitamins and minerals are commonly given as supplements to the diet in amounts determined by recommended daily allowances.

These supplementary dosages cause no apparent harm and are commonly available. Large doses of vitamins, called therapeutic doses, in amounts many times the recommended daily allowances, may not be completely safe. Nutrition and macular degeneration is still being researched. Consult with your ophthalmologist before beginning to take therapeutic doses of any vitamin or mineral is advisable.

Main Campus

2020 West Iles Avenue
Springfield, IL, 62704

Phone: (217) 698-3030
Fax: (217) 698-3068

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 12 Noon
Map of Our Main Campus

Prairie Retina Center

2800 Montaluma Drive
Springfield, IL, 62704

Phone: (217) 321-2020
Fax: (217) 321-2026

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of the Retina Center

Prairie Spa

2800 Montaluma Drive
Springfield, IL, 62704

Phone: (217) 960-3223

Hours:
Mon : 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Weds: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of the Prairie Spa

Lincoln

518 Broadway
Lincoln, IL, 62656

Phone: (217) 732-6062
Fax: (217) 732-8495

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of Our Lincoln Location

Jacksonville

2000 West Morton
Jacksonville, IL 62650

Phone: (217) 245-6814
Fax: (217) 245-0375

Hours:
Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM  
Map of Our Jacksonville Location

Hillsboro

200 East Mechanic Street
Hillsboro, IL 62049

Phone: (217) 532-3036
Fax: (217) 532-6623

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of Our Hillsboro Location

Girard

130 West Center
Girard, IL 62640

Phone: (217) 627-2718
Fax: (217) 627-3312

Hours:
Mon: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of Our Girard Location

Beardstown

106 E. Main Street
Beardstown, IL 62618

Phone: (217) 323-1146
Fax: (217) 323-1156

Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
Map of Our Beardstown Loaction

Decatur

960 E. Mound Road
Decatur, IL 62526

Phone: (217) 877-5050
Fax: (217) 877-9711

Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Friday: 7:30am-3:00pm
Map of Our Decatur Location

Clinton

700 North Side Square
Clinton, IL 61727

Phone: (217) 937-1111
Fax: (217) 937-1991

Hours:
Tue -Thu 8am-5pm

Calls for the Clinton office Monday's and Friday's can be reached at our Decatur Office (217) 877-5050
Map of Our Clinton Location

Main Campus

2020 West Iles Avenue
Springfield, IL, 62704

Phone: (217) 698-3030
Fax: (217) 698-3068

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 12 Noon
Map of Our Main Campus

Prairie Retina Center

2800 Montaluma Drive
Springfield, IL, 62704

Phone: (217) 321-2020
Fax: (217) 321-2026

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of the Retina Center

Prairie Spa

2800 Montaluma Drive
Springfield, IL, 62704

Phone: (217) 960-3223

Hours:
Mon : 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Weds: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of the Retina Center

Lincoln

518 Broadway
Lincoln, IL, 62656

Phone: (217) 732-6062
Fax: (217) 732-8495

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of Our Lincoln Location

Jacksonville

2000 West Morton
Jacksonville, IL 62650

Phone: (217) 245-6814
Fax: (217) 245-0375

Hours:
Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM  
Map of Our Jacksonville Location

Hillsboro

200 East Mechanic Street
Hillsboro, IL 62049

Phone: (217) 532-3036
Fax: (217) 532-6623

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of Our Hillsboro Location

Girard

130 West Center
Girard, IL 62640

Phone: (217) 627-2718
Fax: (217) 627-3312

Hours:
Mon: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Map of Our Girard Location

Beardstown

106 E. Main Street
Beardstown, IL 62618

Phone: (217) 323-1146
Fax: (217) 323-1156

Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
Map of Our Beardstown Loaction

Decatur

960 E. Mound Road
Decatur, IL 62526

Phone: (217) 877-5050
Fax: (217) 877-9711

Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Friday: 7:30am-3:00pm
Map of Our Decatur Location

Clinton

700 North Side Square
Clinton, IL 61727

Phone: (217) 937-1111
Fax: (217) 937-1991

Hours:
Tue -Thu 8am-5pm

Calls for the Clinton office Monday's and Friday's can be reached at our Decatur Office (217) 877-5050
Map of Our Clinton Location