This was me. Will you be next for this age-related problem? It was
relatively unknown prior to the year 2000, but now some doctors are
calling it “a growing epidemic.” Here is how you can beat it back
in its early stages, see much better, and feel better too!
Like most health-conscious people, I went in for my yearly eye
examination at a very up-to-date optometrist’s office, and the doctor
told me that I had something called “drusen” on the retinas of my
eyes. Drusen are waste compound spots on the retina, where the drainage
is not working well. I had been careful about my health and food for 30
years, and I was about age 64 at the time, feeling great as always.
The doctor explained macular degeneration and how it can blur the
central vision we need to read, recognize faces, and drive. What really
disturbed me was that I heard that “aside from a few drugs which help
a little in the late stages, there is nothing we can do for you.”
That really got my attention! She referred me to a retina specialist
for an examination.
The retina specialist did an eye test using a dye that is injected into
a vein in the back of the hand, and it makes any drusen show up as
bright gold flecks in a photograph of each retina. The test is called a
fluorescein angiography. He showed me the images of my retinas on a
viewing screen and he said casually, “There are some drusen.”
Early drusen usually call for no concern because people often have
drusen as they grow older. If none are on the macula, people can live
for many years without the drusen developing into serious macular
However, I was shocked – the bright gold flecks were all around the
macula (the part of the retina where we have our sharp focus for
reading, recognizing faces, and driving) in each eye. I felt
instinctively that I must act immediately.
As airplane pilots say, “The alarm bells were ringing, loud and
clear!” At that moment, the pilot must act quickly and decisively, to
avoid a disaster.
The call to action -
For me, this was yet another immediate challenge, and like most other
people, I have faced many of them. I went home and searched my large
collection of health and nutrition knowledge, studied and saved for over
30 years. I began pouring through my many health newsletters and books,
saved from years back.
I found an excellent article written in 2001 by an ophthalmologist.
Drusen can be the beginning stage of age-related macular degenera-tion
This put me onto the track of searching the Internet for informative
books on the subject and ordering them promptly. From my studies I
developed the simple daily diet introduced in Chapter 8, The Most
Healthy Foods for Your Eyes, and Foods to Avoid. Chapters 9 - 11 add to
The results -
Two years later I went in for another eye examination, and the drusen
were gone! The optometrist was amazed. She sent me to a nearby
ophthalmologist, and his fluorescein angiography retina test confirmed
it– there were no drusen – I had beaten macular degeneration in its
earliest stage! He was equally amazed. Both doctors could see that
this was really progress!
The combined powerful effect -
Now you and your family members and friends can benefit from this
discovery, with delicious, healthful natural foods and some small
amounts of supplemental vitamins, for sharper vision, more energy, and
a cheerful attitude all day.
It is easy, and it just requires improving your nutrition and changing
some habits. This daily routine is called a regimen, which is defined
as “a systematic course of therapy.” Its greatest effects will be
in the early stages of macular degeneration symptoms, and that is when
we want to take immediate action to respond to any symptoms of vision
If your results are like mine, you can improve your eyesight by
“throwing everything you have at it,” as we say when responding to
an emergency. Most likely you will feel that you are seeing the world
around you through two high-resolution telescopes, seeing with sharpness
and detail you did not experience before -- what an amazing new
With this regimen there is a good chance that your eyesight will
improve, but even if there is just a little improvement, you will be
much more energetic and positive from applying the important health
knowledge in this book. Additionally, you will feel that each day can
be the beginning of something new and better.
This is an ongoing journey
As you look through this book you will see that it goes in many
directions because it is the result of many years of study and practical
problem-solving for best results in one’s health so as to be at
one’s best each day. Being at our best is important to each of us in
all that we do, and clearly, the end goal is to be high achievers in
the things that are important to us.
Other people around us can tell when we are on the track to good things,
and we shape their thinking with what we do and say. We draw silent
attention to our effective ways of being at our best, and we influence
others to use their creative thinking to do the same.
One of the early discoveries in this journey was the power of the
supplemental vitamins and minerals that release energy from our good
foods, giving us a steady happy, positive attitude and tone of voice --
this really influences those around us. When they can see that we
clearly are “in a good mood,” those around us respond positively,
and we win their support and cheerful cooperation.
We also win their respect and give them good ideas about how they can do
the same, for a better day every day. As people in sales like to say,
“enthusiasm is contagious.” The question is, how do we build
enthusiasm? Much of it is in our nutrition. The supplemental
B-vitamins, added to good natural foods, are the key. We say to the
skeptics, “Happiness comes in a bottle” -- to sum up the powerful
effect of the B-vitamins in overcoming vitamin deficiencies that
previously gave us a depressed, “blue” mood.
The rest is in setting out each day to accomplish what we need to do in
the all-around best way and in being happy about what we are
accom-plishing. Now we like to say, “Have a good day!”
By doing what is currently called critical thinking, we study many
approaches to understanding issues and events, and then we develop a
reasoned choice that meets our needs. This is the process of looking
for lots of information on a subject, understanding many views of it,
and arriving at a choice that seems best for each of us at the current
For those of us who have “been around” for many years, critical
thinking is what we were doing all along: Thinking for ourselves. It
is a very welcome improvement over the ways things were done for many
years, following what was being done at the time instead of finding new
and better ways of doing things. Sometimes the pressure for conformity
was so great that anyone with an idea for a better way of doing
something was ridiculed and nearly laughed out of the room.
The development of the Internet and the sharing of good ideas from all
directions and from many creative minds has changed the thinking of the
world. Now we can find out how to do many things, and our resources for
information on almost any subject seem endless. New ideas for dealing
with problems, both new and old, are abounding, and professionals are
pressed to keep up with the discoveries week by week.
In a steady effort to discover new ideas for improving our energy levels
and staying in strong health, many good sources are studied every day
for traditional, known healthy nutrition and current scientific
breakthroughs in health issues. This is an open-minded effort to learn
what others are finding to improve our lives in the field of health and
Some of the products and ideas presented on these pages may appear to be
unusual, but each has been tested and has been proven to be of practical
value. It is the combination of many proven ideas that can improve our
health (including our eyesight) in a major way. This First Edition is
the present important sum of years of finding ways to make many things
better and build solid progress along a road to more discoveries in the
As we roll along through the years, through many challenges and a wide
variety of experiences, we become more adept at looking everywhere for
ideas from all directions and from many thoughtful people with
inquisitive minds who are discovering new ways to deal with problems
that are both old and new.
Readers are encouraged to explore many helpful sources of health and
nutrition information, some of which are listed in Chapter 20 -
Additional Reading, others currently available on the Internet, and even
today’s health magazines at the local markets -- good information is
This book should be a starting point for your own journey to better
vision and health or at least a valuable addition to your ongoing
studies of ways to make your life better.
Though written mainly for the problems we see as we become
“seniors,” its information is usable to most ages because it sets a
high standard of daily health habits beneficial to all.
Excerpted from "How I Beat Macular Degeneration" by Alan N McClain. Copyright © 2015 by Alan N McClain. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.