Monthly Archives: August 2013

It’s Just Your Hormones

It’s Just Your Hormones

© Kaye Hazel 2013

arm stretch

 Everyone says, it’s just your hormones

Need to exercise and strengthen the bones

Tears and tantrums for no reason

Hot and cold, no matter the season

Aches and pains, grumbles and moans

sheep

Hot flushes, cold shoulders, I’m quite off my game

The memory is gone, I’m just not the same

Night sweats, poor sleep

I try counting sheep

For this and more, our hormones we blame

glasses on pads

 Hair appears where never before

And where it was, it is no more

Need glasses to read

No longer can breed

These changes, you just can’t ignore

chinese dispensary

What happens to your body is very complex

A weak bladder is one of these effects

Natural therapies, herbs and teas

It’s worth trying these home remedies

When things start to sag, you scream ‘what next?’

man hiding behind hat

So when you’re that age and your hormones run rife

Your husband hides away to stay out of strife

Forget excuses, no need to think twice

Blame it on your hormones is my advice

Accept what it is and get on with your life.

 

Wellness

Messages From Your Angelswomens-health balance

by Kaye Hazel, Angel Intuitive

Today’s message is WELLNESS

‘Wellness is our natural state. Disease is an imposter.’

‘Memories are clever imposters, making it appear that an experience or relationship cannot be healed. If you believe that, how can you heal your body or protect your health? Replace imposters with a higher truth.’

Henry Ford reportedly said ‘whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right’ – or something like. There are different versions of this quote around but the message is the same. Your thoughts and I’d add your beliefs, are powerful!

If you believe something can not be healed, whether that be a physical complaint, a relationship or an experience, then you are denying yourself the opportunity to ‘heal’ it. Healing takes many forms and doesn’t necessarily mean to return to what it was previously. Healing of a relationship may mean that you have removed any emotional charge around the relationship or other person. You don’t need the relationship to go back to what it was, in order for it to be healed.

If we think of healing as releasing any emotional charge or attachment to, rather than getting rid of or fixing the disease / relationship / event / person / pain this allows us to see that circumstance in a different light. Releasing negative emotional attachments such as fear, anger, resentment or sadness and replacing with love allows us to move into a space of unconditional acceptance. That is acceptance of the circumstance without any need or expectation for it to be different. Then there is nothing that needs fixing.

Healing comes in the form of acceptance of the truth without conditions or expectations – unconditional acceptance and unconditional love for the situation, person or circumstance.

When we have a physical or medical condition, it is easy to blame our body for letting us down. If we can move past any judgement or denial about our condition and about our thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the condition, and come to a place of acceptance of that condition, we can allow ourselves to heal. Releasing lower vibrating, or so-called negative emotions such as anger, resentment, blame or shame is an important step towards acceptance.

I know this sounds simple, and it is simple. But I didn’t say it was easy!

 There are only a few people who have been able to reach this place of unconditional love and acceptance, although this number is growing all the time. This is however a familiar story told by those who have survived and thrived, following the diagnosis of a life threatening condition. The medical world might call these spontaneous healings or remissions, others call them miracles. If you want to read about one miraculous healing journey, check out Anita Moorjani’s book, ‘Dying To Be Me: My Journey From Cancer, to Near Death to True Healing’. Available here.

To me, acceptance makes so much more sense and sounds more comforting than fighting or battling a disease – which are terms often used especially when someone has a life threatening condition such as cancer. What are we fighting? Our own body?  

Our body knows how to heal – wellness is our natural state.

Our beliefs can prevent us from healing or accepting wellness. Often these beliefs are hidden, as they reside in our subconscious and were installed there by other people – our parents, teachers, peers, the media. They’re not even our own beliefs!

What do you believe about healing and wellness?

What does healing mean to you?

What does wellness mean to you?

You may need to do some detective work to investigate what beliefs are hidden in your subconscious. An exercise to help you uncover hidden beliefs is to simply notice how you feel when you state what you think you believe out loud. State it in a firm manner as if it is true – then notice how you feel. Does it feel true to you? Does it make you feel lighter or heavier? You can then state the opposite and notice how that feels. Compare the feelings – which statement makes you feel lighter? The truth will always make you feel lighter and a lie will make you feel heavier.

If you’re not used to noticing how things make you feel, practice by saying one statement followed by a conflicting statement. Test it on something you know to be true such as your name or a colour such as ‘this item is green’ followed by ‘this item is purple’ – do you feel differently when you state the correct colour?

Once you feel comfortable with recognising your feelings and the truth, you can use this technique to uncover hidden beliefs. Then it’s up to you, whether you want to change those beliefs. Awareness is the first step. Believing you can heal is the secret to healing – although it is not the only criteria.

Today’s message is from Healing Cards – A Daily Practice for Maintaining Spiritual Balance by Caroline Myss and Peter Occhiogrosso. If you are reading this now, this message is for you and no matter when you are reading it, it is relevant for you today.

With love from the angels

16 August 2013

 

 

Ground Yourself

plant in handsMessages From Your Angels

by Kaye Hazel, Angel Intuitive 

Today’s message is GROUND YOURSELF 

‘When you detach from awareness of your body and the physical world, you become ungrounded. Although it’s pleasant to float heavenward, your attention and work are needed upon the earth. We’re helping you balance the spiritual and material so that you can enjoy a fulfilling Earthly life.’ 

Following on from yesterday’s message about noticing the joy in your life, the Angels are wanting you to ground yourself and be more present as you go about your daily activities. Instead of doing everything in automatic mode, you are reminded that being aware of your thoughts, words and actions will bring you a more rewarding experience.  

Do you ever arrive at some place and wonder how you got there? You drove your car to work but can’t remember if you turned the iron off or closed the roller door when you left home?  

pilotWe operate on automatic pilot for a large proportion of our day, because for most of us, there are a number of things we do the same everyday. We all have our routines. Having the ability to do things without thinking about how to do them, frees up a lot of time for us and gives us the ability to do more things at the same time.  

This autopilot is our subconscious mind and it allows us to repeat our learned behaviours – generally without putting too much attention on them. So we don’t need to remember everyday how to walk or speak, or do both together.  

But just because we can do all these activities with little or no thought – doesn’t mean we have to. We can bring our attention to any of our automatic activities, like breathing, walking, moving our arms. Taking the time to be mindful of these activities, means we are bringing our attention to the present moment.  

You can practice this by reaching out to grab something in front of you or just wriggling your fingers and at the same time become aware of every movement of your arm and hand by noticing what and how your muscles move. You may also notice other sensations in your hand such as a tingling or a slight change in temperature.  

Mindfulness is a good exercise to reduce stress and to release fears. 

When we are running on autopilot, our attention is elsewhere and we can’t fully appreciate the present moment. The angels are asking you to become aware of your learned behaviours and ground yourself in the moment by observing every thought, feeling and action. Being grounded allows us to appreciate everything about that moment.  

footprints in sandWhen we are grounded in the moment, we slow down our thoughts, allowing us to observe them and then we can decide IF we still want to continue to have that thought or feeling. If it’s a positive thought or feeling like love or appreciation, we can enjoy it even more. If it’s a negative thought or feeling like anger or jealousy, we also get to choose if we want to hang onto it and attract more negativity.

Being an observer of our lives is one way to be present and grounded. We can practice this by taking a minute or two every hour or two during the day.

This can be as easy as setting a timer (e.g. on our phone, computer or watch) to go off every hour and when we hear this, we make ourselves aware of our thoughts, our actions, and our mood. Then we get to decide if we want to continue with these same thoughts, feelings or deeds.

Being out in nature is another wonderful way to ground ourselves – walking barefoot on the earth, walking or swimming in the ocean or enjoying the energy of plants and trees. There is something to the slogan – hug a tree today! Although doing this every day may not be possible for many of us, we can take every opportunity to enjoy the rejuvenating energy that is abundant in nature.  

Alternatively, we can simple imagine ourselves connecting to the earth. Imagine tree roots growing out from the bottom of your feet and implanting themselves deep into the earth. You can feel more stable when you do this. This is a good exercise to do just as you’re drifting off to sleep at night, or anytime during the day if you feel a little spacey.

Another tip is to simply place your attention on the space between the bottom of your feet and the floor. You can do this whether you are sitting or standing or whether you have shoes on or not.

Enjoy practicing being mindful of your body, your thoughts, feelings and actions and grounding yourself as often as you remember.

With love from the angels

15 August 2013

 

Today’s message is from Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from Your Angels oracle card pack. 

Joy #2

Messages From Your Angelsfriends laughter

by Kaye Hazel, Angel Intuitive 

Today’s message is JOY (again!) 

‘Joy is the highest energy of all. It’s the magical sense that everything is possible. Joy springs from appreciating the gifts within each moment. Joy allows you to attract and create your present and future moments at their highest possible levels.’ 

It seems many of you didn’t get the message yesterday. I shuffled the cards and asked what message most people need today and … they gave me the same card as yesterday! They want me to make sure you get this message. 

Our angels are with us all the time and we can call on them for assistance with anything, at anytime.  

They are there to guide us in all areas of our lives. Nothing is too big or too small for them – all you need do is ask.  

Once you have asked, it is up to you to listen and then act on the guidance you receive – this can sometimes be a bit tricky if you are used to always being ‘in your head’. It is unlikely you will hear a loud voice giving you directions or answering your questions, but just notice what shows up for you. If a thought pops into your head or you get a ‘gut feeling’ about something, go with it.  

The angels want me to emphasise that it is time for YOU to figure out what brings YOU joy … then it is up to YOU to bring more of that into your life. The best way to do this is to recall moments in your life when you have been in-joy rather than thinking about what might give you joy.  

Accessing an actual memory is more powerful than trying to think something up. Remembering joyful times, even if it was only for a minute, is better than trying to seek the unattainable moments or things that we think might bring us joy …  one day. 

Joy, elation, pleasure, happiness – these are all things we feel not think, so we need to find them in our heart and not in our head. It is often in those little things in life where we find true JOY – the smile, the touch, the sight, the sense of taste or smell. And that feeling may only be fleeting, but when we notice it, we are anchoring it into our subconscious where it is stored forever. The secret is in noticing.  

Notice … be aware … be mindful.  

Become an observer of your life for a day and notice how you are acting and reacting. Are you having more positive thoughts than negative ones? If not, do something to change the ratio. We need at least 3 positive thoughts to cancel out every negative thought but an ideal ratio is at least 5 to 7 positive thoughts to every negative thought. 

From the Healing Cards of Caroline Myss and Peter Occhiogrosso, they ask us to consider the amazing possibility that we were born just to experience the joy of being alive. ‘The soul is on Earth for its own delight.’  

Would you change your day or your life, if you knew your soul purpose for being here is to experience joy? 

Do you even know what gives you joy?  

When was the last time you laughed out loud?  

What brightens your day and adds a smile to your dial?  

Notice those joyful moments today, then tomorrow, then everyday. 

 

With love from the angels

14 August 2013

 

 

 

Joy

Messages From Your Angels

by Kaye Hazel, Angel Intuitive.jump for joy GIMP

This message is from Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from Your Angels oracle card pack. If you are reading this, then this message is for you. 

Today’s message is JOY 

‘Joy is the highest energy of all. It’s the magical sense that everything is possible. Joy springs from appreciating the gifts within each moment. Joy allows you to attract and create your present and future moments at their highest possible levels.’  

What brings you joy? When was the last time you laughed out loud? Take the time today to stop and appreciate those things in your life that fill your heart with joy and love. A beautiful sunset. The smell of a rose. Your loving / playful pet. The taste of coffee or chocolate.  

In the fast pace that many of us live our lives today, it’s easy to miss all the small things that make us smile or make our life easier. By being present in the moment and noticing these things, we open the door to noticing more and more. When we appreciate what we have and all of our experiences, our life is enriched. Awareness or mindfulness is the first step to bringing more joy into your life. 

Starting a gratitude list or journal is a great way to remind us to appreciate the good things in our lives.  

I challenge you to start today and find at least five things that bring you joy and to speak these out loud or write them in a journal.  

Then tomorrow, add another five things, and the next day, the same. But, they have to be different things each day. This is a good exercise to do at the end of each day or first thing in the morning.  

Appreciating and loving things in your life will bring you more things to love and be grateful for. That is how the laws of the Universe work. When you adopt this exercise as a daily practice, you also start to notice more things in your life that you do appreciate or that bring you joy. Make a commitment to try this for a week, then at the end of the week if you are feeling more joyful, commit to another week. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can feel better. 

Do something today that brings you joy, even if that is noticing the beautiful clear skies or soaking up the energy and warmth of the sun. Enjoy the embrace of a nice warm shower, or the smile of a stranger you pass in the street. Find the joy in whatever you are doing. A word of caution, joy, like laughter can be contagious. So spread your joy around, the world can always do with more joy.  

‘The secret to having everything, is loving everything.’ (source unknown) 

With love from the angels 

13 August 2013

Family

Family. They really know how to push your buttons don’t they?

by Kaye Hazel, Angel Intuitive.

Today’s message from Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from Your Angels oracle card pack is FAMILY.

If you are reading this, then trust that this message is for you. 

This situation is rooted in an emotional experience with a family member, which we can help you to understand and heal. In your mind and heart, surround this person, yourself, and the experience with calming blue light and many angels. Be open to the gifts within the situation, and allow yourself to feel peace. 

my family c1961

It is no coincidence that this message comes through today, as many of us connect with family and our family of friends around the world in this technological age.  

We don’t always like what others have to say and it can be those who are closest to us, our family, that get under our skin the most. If you are triggered by someone close to you, see this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, and about them. It is a true friend who has the courage to speak their truth to us rather than support our wallowing in self pity or anger. When others see our situation from a different perspective, and their truth doesn’t sit well with us, take this opportunity to change the way you look at your situation. Is there something you are denying or judging about the situation, person or yourself? As Wayne Dyer often says ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ 

If you are triggered today by the action or words of someone close to you, take a moment to reflect on your own thoughts, words or deeds. If you feel someone has judged you today, ask yourself, what are you judging about yourself or others. Through awareness and without judgement, you may be able to gain a valuable insight into the situation and diffuse the emotionally charge from escalating out of control. Ask the angels for their support and surround yourself and the other person (or persons) with calming blue light. To do this, just imagine a cloud of soft blue light encasing you and the situation and you’ll immediately feel calmer. Breathe in love and breathe out peace. Repeat as often you need to throughout the day. 

With love from your angels

12 August 2103   family silhouette

 

Holding Onto Stuff

Are you holding onto stuff from your past? packing boxes

We hold onto things we think we might need one day or things that remind us of good times in our lives.

Over the years, we can accumulate a lot of stuff. Stuff like:    

  • that pair of jeans that we looked great in fifteen years ago ….  we might fit into them again one day 
  • that pair of socks we got as a gift with purchase …. we added them to our other 25 pairs of rarely worn socks  
  • that crepe maker we used once …. but might use again some day  
  • that half used bottle of perfume … we used to like it   
  • our wedding dress …. can’t bear to toss it or give it away 
  • our high school uniform signed by our classmates …. even though we haven’t heard from any of them in thirty years 
  • those letters we wrote to our boyfriend when we were teenagers …. even though we married him 30 years ago 
  • all those little kitchen gadgets we got from Tupperware parties … you never know when you might need to hull a strawberry or ball a melon, or use all those other things that you don’t know what they are for.   

We all have stuff we hang onto. I’m sure you have stuff just like those things on my list. Much of our stuff is something we no longer need, or we never needed in the first place. But we think we might use one day. We hang onto it, just in case. Other stuff may be something that is connected to a pleasant memory from our past and we want to hang onto it as a keepsake or reminder. 

Some stuff may have been a gift from a friend or relative and we don’t want to offend that person by throwing the gift away even though we don’t like it or have no use for it. We stuff these things in a bottom drawer, in the back of a cupboard, on top on the wardrobe, under the bed or in a box in the garage. It all goes somewhere where we don’t need to look at it every day.  

After a while, we don’t even notice that overloaded drawer or box, and we forget that we have all that stuff. It is out of sight and out of mind, until something or someone jogs your memory about it.  

It’s not only physical stuff that we hoard, we also hang onto emotional stuff. 

We carry our emotional stuff around with us, often not even realising we are doing this. We think we leave our stuff behind after a traumatic experience, because we move on. But in reality, we hang onto remnants of our life experiences. Unlike the physical stuff that we hold onto, much of our emotional stuff is connected to unpleasant past experiences. But like the physical stuff, we stash it away somewhere out of sight and adopt the attitude of “if we can’t see it, it is no longer there.”  

Because it’s not a conscious decision that we make to trap these emotions in our body, we can’t really be to blame for hoarding them. We don’t even know they’re there. We dealt with the situation the best way we knew how at the time, or how we always deal with unpleasant experiences. We move on with our life. 

These memories have an emotional charge to them and like the attraction of a magnetic charge to metal filings, these memories stick to us.  We store them away for later like that old pair of jeans. But we don’t store our emotions in the back of a cupboard or under the bed, rather they get stored in our body. They end up in any part of our body which is open to receiving them. 

We keep adding to our stuff as we move through life and pretty soon, this storage container of our body gets overloaded and can’t hold anymore. Stuff starts to spill out of it like that overful shoebox under the bed. This overflow can be a slow seepage that goes unrecognised for awhile, or it can erupt like a volcano. This spillage of our stored emotions manifests as pain, a nervous disorder or a dis-ease.

Our body just can’t keep holding on to all our stuff and it needs to release some of the tension.

To release the stuff from our body, we need to de-clutter our bodies like we de-clutter and spring clean our homes. We need to get rid of all the stuff we no longer need. This is best done before our body gets overloaded and starts to leak or erupt. There are a number of ways to de-clutter the stuff from our body, and a number of people to help us do this. One way to do this is with the release techniques such as meridian tapping or EFT. Click here for more information about release techniques. 

Once we de-clutter the stuff from our body, we need to make sure we stop accumulating more stuff. We need to be vigilant and adopt a daily practice to clear our energy field so we don’t attract those emotionally charged remnants of life. If we de-magnetise our bodies by having a clear energy field, any emotional remnants we experience in our life will fall off us like the metal filings would without the magnet.

Do you have stuff you need to release from your life?          

hands releasing

Children Learn What They Live

contemplation

 

CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Dorothy Law Nolte (1924-2005)

 

tiptoesDorothy Nolte wrote this poem in 1954 as part of her weekly column on creative family living for a local newspaper. At this time in the 1950s, and for many years later, parents raised their children by telling them what to do and what not to do. I grew up in the 1960s and 70s with this model of parenting, although I don’t regard my childhood as anything like ‘normal.’  

Nolte recognised that parent’s greatest influence on their children is the example they set as role models in everyday life. She, herself became a role model for parents and the wisdom in her words continue to be inspirational today.   

I’d like to see every parent be given a copy of this poem as a reminder of the responsibility that comes with the important role of parenting.  

Actually, that is exactly what happened! The poem was widely circulated by readers of her newspaper column and was distributed to millions of new parents by a maker of baby formula.  

She copyrighted it in 1972 and expanded it into a book in 1998.  

What is your child learning?  

Are you consciously modelling what you’d like your children to learn? 

What did you learn from your childhood?  

What would you like to have learnt?  

I was personally touched by the message in this poem and I urge you to reflect on your own childhood and on your own parenting / grand-parenting, without judgement. I believe that parents do the best they can with the resources they have available to them, so please reflect but don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up if you think you can or could have done better. 

Even though this poem was written almost 60 years ago, the message is just as relevant today. I think it is worth reading regularly and if you are a parent, I hope it gives you both inspiration and courage to be the best role model you possibly can for your children. If this message touches your heart, as it did mine, please share this message with others.  

You can read more wisdom from Nolte and her co-author, Rachel Harris, as they expand on each of the learnings in her poem, in their book of the same title.  

The late Dorothy Nolte, PhD was a lifelong teacher and lecturer on family life education and was friends with Rachel Harris, PhD (a psychotherapist with post-graduate training in family therapy) for more than 25 years.

 ‘This book can help you become the parent you have always wanted to be, and raise the kind of children you can always be proud of.’ 

From the foreword by Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

 Reference:

Dorothy Law Nolte and Rachel Harris, ‘Children Learn What They Live’ Finch Publishing, Sydney, 1998 

Macular Degeneration

AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION     


Age Related Macular Degeneration or AMD causes progressive macular damage resulting in loss of central ‘straight ahead’ vision but peripheral vision is not affected. The macula is the central part of the retina, the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina processes all visual images and is responsible for our ability to read, recognise faces, drive and see colours clearly. Macular degeneration does not cause pain nor lead to total blindness but may make it difficult or impossible to read or to recognise faces. 

Incidence of Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in older people in Australia. One in seven people over the age of 50 is affected in some way and the incidence increases with age. 

Types of Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration can be classified as early, intermediate and advanced according to the severity. There are also two types of age related macular degeneration.    

  • Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration results in a gradual loss of central vision and is the most common and less severe form of age related macular degeneration.
  •      Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration is characterised by a sudden loss of vision. It is caused by abnormal fragile blood vessels growing into the retina, which leak and ooze fluid and blood into the retina. Immediate medical treatment is essential if symptoms occur.

Age related macular degeneration is often a precursor to the wet form. Although 80% of patients with macular degeneration have the dry form, the wet form is responsible for 90% of severe loss of vision associated with macular degeneration.

Risk Factors

The primary risk factor for macular degeneration is age, especially age over 50 years. The prevalence and risk of progression increases with age. Other risk factors include family history, female sex and white race. Modifiable risk factors include smoking, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, excessive sun exposure and a diet deficient in fruits and vegetables. 

Symptoms

  •      Difficulty with reading or any other activity that requires fine vision (e.g. sewing). 
  •      Distortion, where straight lines appear wavy or bent (known as metamorphosia).
  •      Distinguishing faces becomes a problem.
  •      Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision.

 

Normal Vision

Distorted Vision

 Source of images: www.retinavitreouscenter.com

The need for increased illumination, sensitivity to glare, decreased night vision and poor colour  sensitivity may also indicate that there is something wrong. Any of these symptoms warrant the need for an eye specialist review.

Dry macular degenerative changes usually occur slowly over time. The patient may first notice a need for brighter light when reading. Other symptoms include difficulty adapting to low light levels, increased blurriness of printed words, decreased brightness of colours or a blurred or blind spot in the centre of the visual field. 

Visual changes in wet macular degeneration tend to occur rapidly and result in an abrupt decline in central vision.  Patients describe distorted images such as wavy lines or notice a distinct blind spot in the centre of their vision. 

Early detection

Early detection of macular degeneration is vital in preserving or saving vision. Difficulty with vision should not be dismissed as a normal part of getting older. In its early stages, macular degeneration can be detected in an eye test before any visual symptoms occur. Early detection allows for treatment to slow its progression.

The Amsler Grid, shown below can be used to test for symptoms of macular degeneration, although this is not to be relied on for a diagnosis. Distortion of the lines (black spot or wavy lines) such as shown in the second image below, warrants an eye specialist review.

Amsler Grid – normal vision

Amsler Grid – visual defects

Treatments for Age Related Macular Degeneration

Treatment options depend on the stage and type of macular degeneration. Current treatments aim to keep the best vision for as long as possible and in some cases may potentially provide visual improvement, but there is presently no cure.

Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration Treatment

Patients with early macular degeneration generally don’t require treatment, but they should have regular eye examinations to monitor disease progression.  

Patients with intermediate macular degeneration may benefit from supplements of antioxidants and zinc, which can reduce the risk of progression to advanced macular degeneration.

In patients with advanced macular degeneration in one eye, the risk for progression to advanced disease in the other eye can be reduced by taking antioxidant and zinc supplements. 

Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)

AREDS found that people with intermediate macular degeneration or advanced macular degeneration in one eye only, reduced their risk of advanced Age Related Macular Degeneration by about 25% and associated loss of vision by 19% by taking high levels of antioxidants and zinc. No benefit was shown in those with no or early age related macular degeneration.

The AREDS formula contained vitamin C 500mg, vitamin E 400 IU, beta-carotene 15mg, zinc 80mg and copper 2mg. As beta-carotene has been associated with an increased risk of cancer in smokers, it has been removed from many formulas, including Macu-Vision. This is supported by the Macular Degeneration Foundation.

Macu-Vision needs to be taken TWICE daily to provide the daily dose of vitamin and minerals (minus the beta-carotene) used in AREDS. 

Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration Treatment

There are a number of treatments available for wet macular degeneration. They do not cure the disease but aim to stabilise and maintain the best vision for as long as possible. In some cases these treatments can improve vision.

In wet macular degeneration, an excessive growth of blood vessels causes bleeding, leakage and scarring under the retina. This bleeding results in rapid and severe loss of central vision. A protein called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is responsible for the development of the blood vessels. To try and block the effect and growth of these blood vessels, anti-VEGF drugs, which act as an antibody, are injected into the eye cavity.

Lucentis® (ranibizumab)

Lucentis is an anti-VEGF drug used to treat wet age related macular degeneration. It is currently the treatment of choice for wet age related macular degeneration in Australia. It is administered as a monthly injection into the eye cavity. The gain in visual acuity is evident at one month and increases for 3 months with vision maintained for two years. Studies showed that 90 to 95% of patients maintained their vision and about 30% had improved vision.

Retaane® (anecortave acetate)

Retaane is indicated for wet age related macular degeneration and works by stopping or slowing down the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye. It is administered as an injection under the eyelid using a specially designed needle to access the back of the eye. It is given as a depot injection as a single dose, and may be repeated 6 monthly if indicated. 

Visudyne® Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

PDT is a two-step process where Visudyne (verteporfin) is given via IV infusion followed by light activation in the eye from a cold laser. Several treatments are needed to keep the leaking blood vessels closed and stop the progression of wet age related macular degeneration. It is now rarely used. 

Prevention: Lifestyle

Smoking cessation has the most profound effect on risk reduction, as smoking doubles the risk for progression of age related macular degeneration. Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise is also recommended. 

Prevention: Diet and Supplements

Diet is important in reducing the risk of age related macular degeneration and slowing its progression. In general a healthy diet containing fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and fish is recommended for eye health. Although eating a balanced diet is the best way to obtain nutrients, the high doses of antioxidants required to slow age related macular degeneration progression is impractical to get from diet alone and supplementation is recommended. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are important to eye health. All fish and shellfish contain omega-3s but higher concentrations are found in oily varieties of fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, trout, herring and sardines. If you don’t have 2-3 serves of fish a week, consider an omega-3 supplement. 

Foods rich in carotenoids may lower the risk of wet age related macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that are present in high concentrations in a healthy macula. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in particularly high levels in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and silver beet. They are present in a range of other vegetables as well such as peas, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and beans. If your diet is deficient in fresh fruit and vegetables, consider a supplement. 

Bilberry contains anthocyanosides and is marketed to support the health of the retina and improve night vision. While bilberry is a useful antioxidant, there is no evidence that it reduces the risk of age related macular degeneration or slows it progression. 

For those with intermediate age related macular degeneration or advanced age related macular degeneration in one eye only, taking an AREDS formula (minus the beta-carotene) such as Macu-Vision twice daily is recommended.

For more information about macular degeneration, visit the Macular Degeneration Foundation.  http://www.mdfoundation.com.au/ 

Kaye Hazel