Marco’s MacuScope provides a non-invasive and effective test to accurately measure MPPD.

Macular pigment density testing and proper supplementation are simple and efficient methods to detect and slow the development of macular degeneration.

According to the National Federation of the Blind, more people fear losing their vision than anything else (including paralysis, heart attack, cancer, diabetes, and stroke). Macular degeneration is currently the leading cause of vision loss for those aged over 50, affecting 30 million people worldwide. Statistics show that this number will triple in the next 20 years. Macular protective pigment density (MPPD), also known as macular pigment optical density (MPOD), is an effective way to detect and monitor your patients at risk for developing macular degeneration.

MPPD is a measure of the concentration of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin) that filter out the damaging blue light. They are antioxidants and are found in their highest concentration in the fovea, meaning that the fovea absorbs a significant portion of short-wavelength light. Low levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin have been shown to be associated with an increased risk in macular degeneration.

Macular pigment density testing uses heterochromatic flicker photometry, which is an easy way of measuring the optical density, or absorbance, of the macular pigment. Low macular pigment density scores can be linked to genetics, smoking, dietary insufficiency, obesity, or an inability to absorb or convert the carotenoids. Those who have a high dietary intake of green leafy vegetables tend to have a higher score than those with a poorer intake.

The MacuScope from Marco is the first commercially available instrument to accurately measure MPPD. This non-invasive, safe, and effective test takes about two to three minutes per patient. To do this, a small stimulus alternates between a measuring wavelength (460nm) that is absorbed by macular pigment and a reference wave-length not absorbed by the pigments (550nm), which is viewed by the patient as a small flickering light. The patient communicates when the flicker is at a minimum. This categorizes the patient as having low, average, or high MPPD. The eyecare professional (ECP) will then educate the patient on the risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and may recommend supplementation as needed.

An integral part of ZeaVision’s Eye-Q™ Program, QuantifEye® is another state-of-the-art device that precisely measures MPOD. The Eye-Q Program consists of four steps to manage low macular pigment, a key AMD risk factor. Steps consist of measuring the patient’s macular pigment level; managing the patient with an AMD risk assessment, EyePromise® Restore supplementation, and nutritional counseling; monitoring and re-measuring macular pigment level at six months; and maintaining a healthy macular pigment level with ongoing EyePromise supplementation.

Both of the tests provided by these instruments are recommended for everyone aged over 21, especially patients with a family history of AMD or those with other risk factors such as smoking.

In combination with testing, recommendation of proper supplementation will give your patients the necessary tools to protect themselves against AMD.

Macuhealth with LMZ3, distributed by Marco, is a nutritional supplement that contains all three pigments naturally found in the macula. Each capsule contains 10mg of lutein, 10mg of mesozeaxanthin, and 2mg of zeaxanthin. One capsule per day with a meal is the recommended dose. According to the company, regular intake of Macuhealth has been shown to increase macular pigment to normal levels, up to a 40% increase over a six month period.

ZeaVision’s EyePromise supplements are all natural and contain the same 2-to-1 ratio of zeaxanthin and lutein as the center of a healthy macula. EyePromise Restore is scientifically formulated to build

Alcon’s ICAPS Lutein & Zeaxanthin formula is recommended for people at risk of age-related eye conditions and for people with frequent exposure to sunlight.

macular pigment quickly and support healthy vision. The recommended EyePromise Restore dosage is one or two soft gels per day. A single EyePromise Restore soft gel contains: 120mg of vitamin C, 15mg of zinc, 250mg of omega 3, 10mg of alpha lipoic acid, 60 IU of vitamin E, 4mg of lutein, and 8mg of zeaxanthin. EyePromise Ten contains 10mg of zeaxanthin only and is a great option for patients who want to add zeaxanthin to their cur-rent supplement regimen, can’t tolerate fish oil, or need a kosher or vegetarian supplement.

Alcon Laboratories, Inc. has three eye supplements: ICAPS® MV, ICAPS Eye Vitamin AREDS Formula, and ICAPS Lutein & Zeaxanthin (L&Z) Eye Vitamin Formula. ICAPS MV is a multi-vitamin providing high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, and other essential body vitamins and minerals. It is vitamin A-free for those who should avoid beta-carotene. The ICAPS AREDS formula contains the recommended dosage of vitamins and minerals as proven by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). This combination has been shown to be effective in delaying and reducing the progression of advanced AMD. It includes vitamin A, C, E, zinc, and copper, and is available in easy-to-swallow soft gels. ICAPS Lutein & Zeaxanthin formula is best for people at risk of age-related eye conditions and for people with frequent exposure to sunlight. It contains high levels of antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin (4mg) as well as zinc.

PreserVision from Bausch + Lomb is an antioxidant supplement with vitamins and minerals. The original PreserVision AREDS formula, which has more than 100% of the U.S. Daily Values for vitamins A, C, and E, was clinically proven to slow the progression of moderate-to-advanced AMD. Four tablets taken daily is recommended. PreserVision Soft Gels Lutein Supplements are for patients who need an AREDS-based formula but who should avoid beta-carotene, including smokers. Beta-carotene is substituted with 10mg of FloraGLo® lutein. This supplement contains high levels of zinc, and vitamins C and E.

ScienceBased Health’s Macular-Protect Complete® and Macular-Protect Complete-S (beta-carotene-free) are all-in-one nutritional formulas to protect macular and whole body health. They include nutrients at levels found to preserve eyesight according to AREDS, providing 10mg of FloraGLO lutein, 1mg zeaxanthin, and a complete multi-nutrient with over 30 other key ingredients.
Education and prevention of macular degeneration are becoming increasingly important in an ECP’s day-to-day patient care, so make sure you have the proper means to ensure your patients’ vision is in good hands.

Jennifer L. Stewart is in private practice at Norwalk Eyecare in Norwalk, CT.

Alcon Laboratories, Inc.
800-451-3937 •

Bausch + Lomb
800-828-9030 •

800-874-5274 •

ScienceBased Health
888-433-4726 •

866-833-2800 •


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