Macular Degeneration and Heavy Metals

According to the Macular Degeneration Foundation, the incidence of macular degeneration in Australia for people over the age of 50 is 1 in 7. The disease is sometimes knows as ‘age related macular degeneration’ (AMD) because the incidence has been found to increase with age.


What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is a condition that affects the macula part of the retina of the eye resulting in a disturbance to central vision. Although the exact etiology of the disease is unknown, it is believed that deterioration of the retina leads to a breakdown in the transmission of signals to the brain from the nerves and receptors of the eye. When the signals are unclear, the brain cannot correctly interpret the information it receives and there is a loss of the detail that allows us to read, recognize people, perform manual work or manage fine tasks such as threading a needle. A person with macular degeneration may experience blurred or decreased central vision, blind spots, wavy lines instead of straight and size distortion.


There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry.

The onset of wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels, which have grown under the centre of the retina, bleed or leak and scar the retina. Macula damage may occur rapidly. It is not uncommon for wet macular degeneration to start in one eye and affect the other at a later time.


Dry macular degeneration, which is the most common form, results from a gradual breakdown of cells in the macula leading to blurring of central vision. The onset of dry macular degeneration can be detected early by an optometrist because of the presence of small, yellowish spots, called drusen, at the back of the eye. However, people who have drusen may not have visual impairment or related symptoms. When dry macular degeneration advances due to damage to the retina and nerves, vision loss will occur.


Macular degeneration is treated by laser surgery, photodynamic therapy where a drug is injected that destroys newly formed, abnormal blood vessels or injections, however, none of these treatments can restore the vision that has already been lost.


Risk factors

There are a number of identified risk factors associated with AMD. Family history and age are thought to be the most common risk factors. People with outdoor occupations and continuous exposure to sunlight may also be at risk, particularly if their skin is lightly pigmented. Women seem to be at a greater risk than men. There are also environmental and behavioral factors such as smoking and obesity. Research cited below shows that a buildup of toxic heavy metals can damage eye health.



The National Institute of Health and the National Eye Institute in the US, published the results of a random study of people with moderate and advanced AMD in the Archives of Ophthalmology in 2001, entitled the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. The study reported that a significant slowing of disease progression and preservation of sight could be achieved by taking dietary supplements containing high-dose antioxidants and zinc.


Research published by Erie et al in 2005 in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, measured the concentration of toxic heavy metals in the fluids and tissues of human eyes. Concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury, and thallium in ocular tissues, ocular fluids, and blood were found in the autopsy of 30 eyes from 16 subjects. The study concluded the presence of lead and cadmium which had accumulated in the tissues and retinal pigment epithelium and choroid. Further study into the toxicity of these heavy metals and their possible role in eye disease was recommended.


What Can We Do?

In addition to the medical treatments mentioned above, there are a number of common sense things we can do to help prevent the onset of macular degeneration.


In order for high-dose antioxidants and zinc to be effectively absorbed into the body and to protect the eyes from heavy metals, it is firstly essential to detoxify the body. Published clinical trials have shown that when removing heavy metals and toxins, including pesticides and herbicides from the body safely and effectively, supplements will be more readily absorbed, the immune system may function more efficiently and normal blood pressure may be more easily maintained.


Eating a healthy diet, including green leafy vegetables and fish, is also essential to good eye health. A healthy diet will help with weight control as will some regular exercise. Giving up smoking is critical for eye health.


Some people also believe in the benefit of eye exercises to increase eye health. Firstly move the eye slowly from side to side, then from top to bottom a few times. Move the eyes in a circular motion, then reverse a few times. Finally, raise your finger level with your nose and focus there for a time, then focus on something in the distance.


Remember the most important step, take a daily detoxifying shower on the inside to give your eyes the maximum chance for sustained health. Your body will love you!



Jannette has researched health and well being issues for the past 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Promotion. Healthy eating, regular meditation, moderation in everything and taking the correct supplements can make an enormous improvement to the quality of our lives. Claim your free Aussie eBook “The Truth Revealed – Activated Liquid Zeolite” at or email Jannette at


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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