Prevention of Macular Degeneration Using Vitamins

BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 20

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On Episode 20 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller explores the role of vitamins in the prevention of a degenerative eye disease expressing itself. Since maintaining good health seems to be a key factor in keeping the issues from expressing themselves, vitamins are an important player in overall health. There are things you can do other than just waiting for these diseases to appear. Plus good vitamin choices can boost the body so that adult stem cells have a better chance to help your treatment. You can make a difference. 

PREVENTION OF MACULAR DEGENERATION USING VITAMINS

The Reality of Macular Pseudoholes

BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 19

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On Episode 19 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller looks at the issue of Macular Pseudoholes and the reality of what it means to have degeneration of the eye. He also talks about the role of genetic testing in this matter.   As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 

The Reality of Macular Pseudoholes

Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part Three

BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 35

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This is the third of three talks on autoimmune disease and eye disease. The first part, which was a couple of weeks ago, was an overview. Last week, we talked about gut health, because that’s important. Just as a reminder, both the kind of integrative medicine I do and allopathic medicine, the hospital based regular medicine that I was first trained in agree that autoimmune disease is a consequence of an overactive immune system. 

Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part Three

Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part Two

BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 34

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On Episode 34 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Part Two of the discussion on autoimmunity continues on, exploring more of this key subject. Dr. Miller talks about how keeping your wellness - especially in regards to toxins - can prove to play an important role in how you rebuild tissue and reverse degenerative eye disease. Keeping things clear and not inflamed is essential.

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy!

AUTOIMMUNITY AND YOUR EYE DISEASE PART TWO

Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part One

BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 33

On Episode 33 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, a three part discussion about the role of autoimmunity in the health of your eyes begins. Dr. Miller talks about how keeping your wellness - especially in regards to toxins - can prove to play an important role in how you rebuild tissue and reverse degenerative eye disease. Keeping things clear and not inflamed is essential.

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 33 AUTOIMMUNITY AND EYE DISEASE PART 1

If You Do Nothing, What Are The Risks of Bleeding?


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 38 

On Episode 38 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, there is a discussion about the role of inaction and how that might impact the degenerative process with the eyes. Bleeding can be a condition faced by people with degenerative eye disease, so the question is what happens when we do not address these potentials ahead of time. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 38
IF I DO NOTHING WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF BLEEDING

This is the next in a series of questions that I call the “should ask” questions. You know of frequently asked questions - basically answers to questions that people ask frequently. Well these are questions that I drew up that I want people to ask, but that they don’t often think of. This is a little off how its normally done, but it’s working, so we are giving it a go. I hope it’s working for you as well. 

WHAT IF I DO NOTHING?

The question for today applies mainly to people with Macular Degeneration and Stargardt. If you have Macular Degeneration or Stargardt and you do nothing other than take the vitamins that your eye doctor recommends, what are the chances that you’ll become exudative, or develop wet degeneration or wet Stargardt. 

Let me preface this discussion with two things that may not be evident to people. First, Macular Degeneration and Stargardt are very closely related. Stargardt is the juvenile form of Macular Degeneration and the genetic predisposition for that there maybe two abnormal genes instead of one. That could be why it shows up when you’re younger. 

The other thing is that a lot of people think, and this is in part because of the way eye doctors think about this, that somehow wet Macular Degeneration or wet Stargardt disease is a different entity than dry Macular Degeneration or dry Stargardt disease. The truth is they are the same disease. 

UNDERSTANDING DISEASE NUANCE

The example I like to use is to think of another common disease, something like diabetes. We are well familiar with diabetes, and at a certain point you can progress into a stage where you start having the complications that diabetics can manifest. Things like heart problems or poor circulation in the legs or kidney failure or diabetic retinopathy. There are also eye problems associated with diabetes.

However, It’s all still just diabetes. It’s diabetes in a more advanced stage, now with complications. The same is true for the eye diseases. If you have wet macular degeneration, you have good old Macular Degeneration, only now it’s progressed to a point where you have the complication of leaking and bleeding.

SHIFT OF DRY TO WET

I’ll finish this topic and then we can talk about when a doctor decides to inject your eye. The data is clear for people with Macular Degeneration that the odds that you will convert from dry to wet is only about 10 or 15%. That doesn’t mean that everyone with Macular Degeneration, because it all starts out as dry, is going to convert to wet Macular Degeneration. The odds are in your favor that you won’t.

You can have a lot of geographic atrophy. You can continue to lose vision, but you may not have the problem with leaking and bleeding. The leaking and bleeding can be catastrophic. It can lead to sudden and dramatic loss of vision because of the damage the fluid and blood leaking into the retina causes. The damage caused can be quite severe, and it can happen very quickly. When you hear about the treatments for macular degeneration, really, they’re not talking about treatments for the disease. All that language is talking about treatments for the complications. Ophthalmologists still really have no treatment for the disease. 

STEM CELL INJECTIONS

Some are looking at injecting stem cells and they keep saying that’s years away. There’s some people trying it now, but most of the people trying it are not using an approved technique. The clinics that do it aren’t supervised or registered or licensed to do it. There’s a bit of a scandal going on now with a lot of stem cell therapies where stem cells are injected.

It’s not fraudulent, but it’s not a controlled procedure, and people spend a lot of money for that. They can charge you tens of thousands of dollars to inject stem cells into you. You like to think it’s going to work if you’re going to spend that kind of money. But in general  people aren’t doing it well or don’t know what they are doing. So the results aren’t very good. 

INJECTIONS NOT ALWAYS INDICATED

The next conversation I wanted to have - though just briefly though - relates to this because the only tool that ophthalmologist  feel they have is these injections. So they tend to do them a lot. In fact, they do them often when they are not indicated or called for. Often,  people don’t even know that they have Macular Degeneration until they have some sort of catastrophic event like a bleed or a leak. They may know that their eyesight is declining, but no one’s ever used the words Macular Degeneration before. 

KNOWING BUT NOT SPEAKING

This gets into a whole other thing that is a sorry thing that doctors still do - that they’ve always done. They don’t want to worry their patient. They don’t want to worry their client. If your eye doctor sees loss of pigmentation, geographic atrophy, maybe some droozen, you know, the kind of debris you left behind because of all the cells that are dying off - they may say to themselves  this is an eye with Macular Degeneration most likely. 

But they don’t say anything and then you will one day wake up and you can’t even really see in one of your eyes. And they will say, oh you bled and this is Macular Degeneration and it’s not new, just nobody ever told you were having problems with your eyes. The reason they don’t tell you is that since they have nothing to offer, they figure why worry this person. Why upset them. It’s not doing a good service to you when they do that.

CHALLENGE WITH INJECTIONS

To get back to what I was saying, there are a lot of people who I see now who are getting these injections and they are not really indicated. There is evidence now that those injections can do some damage in your eye. If you had a big leak or a bleed and it's causing a lot of damage into your eye - sure - you want to do some first aid, some emergency thing to try to cut it back. But getting injections every month for years on end ultimately leads to problems. This is a bigger discussion, so let’s come back to this in the future. 

I’ll put it down on this list of topics for coming weeks. But I’m going to end there with the just thought that getting these injections in your eye, when you don’t need them, can be damaging. Wet and dry are the same and sometimes the first time you even notice you have macular degeneration is because of a bleed. But it’s always preceded by a dry form. You had degeneration in your eye before you had the bleed. It’s just that no one told you or no one diagnosed it. We’re going to open the Q&A now. 

CONCLUSION

As an addendum, I want to mention two important references about the risk of repeated eye injections. The first reference is from one of the bigger ophthalmology journals called Retina, in 2014, July, volume 34, number 7, pages 1308 – 1315. The primary author was Young. There’s another article from the journal Ophthalmology from 2013. Both showed the risk of geographic atrophy in people who received multiple injections of these drugs. That’s a bad thing, so I wanted to make sure that people were aware of those findings.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 38
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Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration Are The Same Thing

On Episode ​40 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​​​​the discussion turns to looking at Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration and how they can be approached in a similar fashion. ​

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 40


DOWNLOAD ​​​​​WET AND DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION ARE THE SAME THING



BEH PODCAST EPISODE 40
WET AND DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION ARE THE SAME DISEASE

Today I want to revisit something we’d talked about before. It’s been over a year, so I
think it is time to talk about wet versus dry macular degeneration. I get a lot of questions
about this topic. Some of those questions come from the fact that Ophthalmologists are
a little unclear in how they discuss the difference.

THE SAME PROBLEM

To be clear, wet and dry macular degeneration are both the same problem. They’re
both the same disease. So, if you have macular degeneration, it can progress to the point
where you have enough degeneration that you can have leaking and bleeding into your
eye. Once you have leaking and bleeding, that makes it “wet” macular degeneration.
The official term for that is exudative, and exudative means leaking.

The analogy I like to use is diabetes, a different disease but one that people are more familiar with. If you have advanced diabetes, one of the complications is that you have poor circulation in
your legs and you may get a wound that won’t heal. As a result,  now you have a non-healing sore on your leg. The problem is still diabetes, and the non-healing wound is just a complication of diabetes, not a different disease. The same is true with the eye in macular degeneration.

WHAT EXACTLY DEGENERATES?

If you have a degenerative disease in your eye, the things that degenerate are not just the complicated neural cells, it’s not just the neuro-epithelial cells, the nerve cells responsible for vision. Those are not the only thing to degenerate. The structural components of the eye and the blood vessels all break down too. This is the case mostly with Macular degeneration, but you can see it some in Stargardt and rarely in Retinitis Pigmentosa. 

But we heard one person announce on the call today that they have a tear in their retina. Getting structural damage in the retina is very common with these diseases. The different types of damage have all kinds of names: macular tears, punctures, holes, buckles or thinning. However, they’re really all the same thing even though they are given different names, it’s all structural breakdown of the retina.

THE ISSUE OF BLOOD FLOW

The vessels can also degenerate, which is significant, because that results in a problem with poor circulation to the eye. That is bad because the eye has a need for blood greater than any other tissue in the body. The eye demands a lot of blood flow. As a result, it needs a lot of blood flow to function well. So even a little decrease in that blood flow compromises the eye. 

The body doesn’t like tissues to be hungry for blood. It has ways that it deals with that. If there’s not enough blood flow to make the eye happy, then the first thing that happens is the tiny vessels called capillaries (that are only supposed to carry a little bit of blood) dilate to try to let more blood into the eye. If the condition goes on long enough, the eye grows new vessels into the eye. That’s called neovascularity.

NEW VESSELS, FRAGILE VESSELS

The part “neo” means new and vascularity means vessels. So, you get new vessels, and that is how the body tries to compensate for the fact that there’s not enough blood flow.

These new vessels that the body builds, and those small vessels that dilate to carry more blood, are rather fragile and are prone to leak and bleed. One of the tests that’s done to measure neo-vascularity is an angiogram. They put a fluorescent dye into your body and they can see the vessels themselves in the eye. A tangle of these new vessels is seen as neo-vascularity and those vessels are prone to leak and bleed. 

They used to do a lot of things to try to destroy those small vessels and thankfully they don’t do that anymore. It didn’t work very well and therefore it did a lot of damage. What they do now mainly is inject drugs into the eye to try and block new vessel formation, neovascularity. Those are the drugs like Eylea and Avastin and Lucentis. All similar, very similar drugs. They do a pretty good job of blocking the formation of those new vessels, but there’s a downside to that.

THE PATH OF DRY AND WET

I’ll talk about the consequences of those drugs in a second, but I just want to come back to talk about what I started out with, the fact that wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration are the same disease. If you have wet macular degeneration, that always started out as dry macular degeneration. It’s just that nobody diagnosed it. 

It is common for people to first learn that they have a problem with macular degeneration when their disease is advanced, and they had a problem with leaking and bleeding. The treatments that are done for macular degeneration don’t really treat the disease itself.

DRUGS NOT A CURE

If you Google treatment for macular degeneration, the first articles you usually see are talking about drugs that treat the complications. That’s important to remember, these drugs don’t treat the disease. They’re not done to make your vision any better, and in fact they won’t make your vision any better. They are simply done to try and prevent the formation of those new vessels so you don’t have leaking and bleeding.

Because the leaking and bleeding can be destructive and can cause damage to the eye, treating the leaking and bleeding is not a bad thing to do. Before I talk the downsides of those injections, I just kind of want to bring it back to the program that you’re doing. The reason you all are on this call is you are doing the Better Eye Health Program. One of the things that happens with the Better Eye Health Program is that you’re doing a number of things that improve circulation. 

COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM

The color therapy improves circulation. ACU-EYE© points improves circulation. Eye Health Exercises improve circulation. The microcurrent stimulation improves circulation. Even some of the supplements we use improve circulation. But they don’t supercharge your circulation. They heal it and  bring it back to normal.

That is important because you may have a condition that makes you prone to leak and bleed. Fortunately, we’re not pumping up your circulation. We’re merely trying to bring it to normal. The formation of those abnormal vessels came as the result of a stress, and that stress was the poor circulation in the eye that was a consequence of the degeneration. So, if we improve circulation, we remove that stress, and the body feels less need to make new vessels. As a result, that in turn takes the stress off the eye that puts you at risk for leaking and bleeding.

HELPING VESSELS TO GROW

The healing that occurs with this program goes further because it actually helps new normal vessels to grow. There are a number of things that lead to the healing of the eye in this program. It takes time, but it will happen if you stay with it. There have been many studies that have looked at data for this procedure and I’m going to be talking in the future there are some newer studies that have been done.

Most of the studies looking at microcurrent stimulation took place in Europe, and they’re showing that it is of great value. We’ll talk about those studies on a later call because people always like
data. People like to know that there are doctors looking at this treatment, and yes, this is
real and it works.

GRACE'S RESULTS

For example, I looked at the data that Grace and I collected on 120 patients and it showed that this program worked very well for both wet and dry macular degeneration. In fact, in the first 120
patients that I kept careful data on, the first people that I treated, the people with wet macular degeneration actually did better than the people with dry. I saw a higher percentage of people with wet show improvement. 

Now, people ask me that if I start doing this program, and they’ve already had bleeding, will they bleed again. I can’t really answer that. I can’t make a promise there because one of the greatest risk factors, the best predictor of whether you are going to bleed is whether you’ve bled before. There are people that started this program that do have continued problems with leaking and bleeding. But most people, if they stay with the program and they do what we ask them to do, have the leaking and bleeding eventually slow down and even stop. 

INJECTIONS

This has kind of been a long talk, I’m sorry about that, so I will try to start wrapping things up. I did want to talk about why you don’t want to just do the shots. Yes, the shots do help stop the leaking and bleeding. However, the shots do not treat the underlying disease. The shots are not intended to improve your vision. I’ve talked to a lot of people who somehow had it in their minds that shots are a treatment that would improve their vision. 

Then they are very disappointed that their vision continues to decline even though they are getting these shots every month or every couple of months. The drugs that are injected directly into the eye were originally used orally. Then they were using them intravenously, and really, it wasn’t until they started injecting them into the eye that they did any good at all.

DRUG DOWNSIDES

The downside of the drug was something connected to whether they’re given orally, intravenously or injected directly. These drugs reduce the tendency to bleed by reducing blood flow. I just want you to think about this: the body is growing these new vessels for a reason. The vessels are prone to leak and bleed and that is a little bit of problem. But, the body is growing those vessels to try to compensate for a problem. 

The problem is poor circulation in the back of the retina, the back of the eye. It’s an imperfect solution because these vessels are abnormal. Therefore these vessels are prone to leak and bleed, but they do what they are supposed to. They improve blood flow to the retina. These drugs are very effective at blocking the formation of these new vessels. So, when an eye that was growing vessels, because it was starved for blood flow, now has no help in sight. Now what happens is that the eye cells start to die off in the back of the eye.

TRACKING THE ISSUE

The way we can see that are through 3D ultrasounds of the eye. You see overtime, as you do more
and more shots, that the retina thins and you have a decrease in vision. Visual acuity and other things fall off. There is a very real consequence of these shots, which is that they give you some short-term benefit, but in the long run, they tend to lead to further decline in your vision and the health of your eye.

That’s why the shots are not a good long-term solution. But as far as first aid, they can be helpful. If someone calls me and they are a little panicked because they have leaking and bleeding, and maybe they’re seeing a dramatic decrease in their vision. I might recommend they get a shot or two because they have a real problem that needs to be dealt with quickly. The shots are the best way of doing that. 

CONCLUSION

I would then suggest they do a program like the Better Eye Health program, which is a way to treat the underlying disease, the root of the problem. Hopefully they would need fewer or even no shots in the future. Sometimes, that first aid is necessary and I’m glad that it’s there. If you have
any more questions about wet or dry macular degeneration, I’m going to ask you to bring them to the Q&A session that we are about to begin.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 40
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Does It Help To Join A Clinical Trial?

On Episode ​43 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​​​​​​​Dr. Miller talks about the reasons behind joining a clinical trial or not as part of the process of reversing your eye disease. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 43


DOWNLOAD ​​​​​​​​DOES IT HELP TO JOIN A CLINICAL TRAIL?

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 43
DOES IT HELP ME TO JOIN A CLINICAL TRIAL?

Today, we will cover the last of our “should ask” questions that I propose people should ask. This involves a more general discussion, and the question today looks at whether it is advisable for people to involve themselves in a clinical trial, specifically for their eyes, or really for anything medical. In general, my recommendation is no. Do not involve yourself in a clinical trial.

About the only time I recommend a clinical trail is if you had a truly life-threatening disease where the only possible chance of survival involved enrolling in a clinical trial. Even then, my answer is still a qualified maybe. If that situation arose, we’d have to talk. 

THE ISSUE WITH CLINICAL TRIALS

The whole discussion of clinical trials is complicated by the controversial nature of medical research. Controversial in terms of how studies are set up. Controversial in terms of what even is the placebo. The simplest way to think about this, and what I propose to you, is not encouraging someone to run to the front of the line for a new and unproven study.

In a clinical study, there is a very good likelihood will end up placed in the non-treated group, the placebo group. You might go through a lot of time and a lot of effort and not even really receive any kind of treatment. This delays your chance to do something positive for yourself. 

There is another reason, which connects to changes in clinical studies. In the old days, it was considered a great favor to the field of medicine and medical research if you stepped forward to take part in a clinical study. Now, clinical studies number one design focuses on getting a drug on the market. There’s virtually no clinical research for any of the kinds of therapies and treatments that I  propose as a first line of therapy for most diseases.

THERE IS A COST 

They are also not free anymore. Very often, you pay for the meds, the visits and even some of the lab tests. Alternatively, they might charge your insurance company, so you pay the copays. In addition there is a huge amount of time involved: invasive studies, lab work, blood sticks, meal sticks and even the possibility of paying for the doctor’s time. I’m glad that studies are done in general, but this is why I’m not a big proponent of many of these studies. 

OTHER FACTORS

Another issue is many studies are now done overseas. They are done in 3rd world countries. Part of the reason is connected to cost. You can pay people a small stipend, a small token to get them involved. The bad news of that setup is that when a study doesn’t work out, the data, including adverse effects is hidden. The drug companies are very selective about only showing you results that they think are positive and that benefit their product.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 43
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Can Vitamins Alone Help My Eyes?

BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 42

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On Episode 42 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, the question of just using one aspect of the program comes up in terms of just taking vitamins alone to help reverse eye disease. At times people do not want to do the multiple components of the program and only want to do one, thinking that will cover the issue. Dr. Miller talks about this and why it is important to do all that you can. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 42 - WILL VITAMINS ALONE HELP MY EYES 

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