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Many people think that losing their sight is an inevitable part of aging. Blurry vision, problems with night-driving, and no longer being able to enjoy reading a good book are often just chalked up to getting older.
The culprit behind this vision loss is known as macular degeneration.
Put simply, it just means that the center part of your eye, the part you use to see, has become damaged with age and exposure to UV light. The first signs may just be wavy or blurry vision but it can progress to complete blindness.
In fact, up to 11 million people in the U.S. have some degree of age-related macular degeneration. And, this disease is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 50.
Mainstream treatment for macular degeneration often uses lasers. Sadly, while these can help some people, it can also damage normal eye tissue, creating scarring and causing further vision loss.
And, the drugs used to combat the disease have a whole host of their own problems, from eye pain and additional problems seeing, to sensitivity to light and even bleeding from your eyes.
Prevention is key
It’s clear that preventing macular degeneration and the blindness it leads to is far better than suffering the side effects that come with the current treatments.
Thanks to research by scientists at the University of L’Aquila in Italy and a certain rare spice, there is new hope in the fight against age-related vision loss.
The stigmas, or threads, from the Crocus flower have been found to not just improve vision but to actually make the cells in your eyes stronger, protecting them from the damage of aging.
And, while the improvement among the study participants wasn’t immediate, it only took three months for the spice to make real, positive changes in the vision of the people taking it.
The Indian spice that could save your eyesight
Indian food lovers the world over will be happy to hear that the miracle spice that reverses and prevents age-related vision loss is saffron.
The reason saffron works so well is because it is loaded with carotenoids. You may have heard of these before, since they are the reason you were always told as a kid to eat your carrots. They are great for eye health.
The high doses of carotenoids in saffron not only improve your ability to see more clearly and decrease your sensitivity to light, they can also actually help you to see an additional two lines on those eye charts your doctor uses to test your vision.
Getting the most from saffron
To stop age-related vision loss and make your eyes as healthy as possible, you need to get at least 20 mg per day of saffron.
There are two options for using this powerful orange miracle. You can cook with it and if you love curries, this is a great choice. Or, you can take a saffron extract supplement. They are widely available and easy to find.
Since saffron is a very expensive spice, for most people, taking the supplement will be the best option.
Age-related vision loss doesn’t have to be a fact of life. With this new research into the healing power of saffron, you can preserve your eyesight and reverse the damage of time.
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Falsini B, Piccardi M, Minnella A, et al. Influence of saffron supplementation on retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(12):6118-24.
Marangoni D, Falsini B, Piccardi M, et al. Functional effect of saffron supplementation and risk genotypes in early age-related macular degeneration: a preliminary report. J Transl Med. 2013;11:228.
Piccardi M, Marangoni D, Minnella AM, et al. A longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early age-related macular degeneration: sustained benefits to central retinal function. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:429124.