Seeing is believing as supplements cure Norah
NORAH Norton was told eight years ago that her deteriorating eyesight would force her to give up driving.
But now the 70-year-old describes her vision as near perfect, thanks to nutritional supplements that recent clinical trials have shown actually improve sight.
The ground-breaking trials are being carried out by the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) at Waterford Institute of Technology.
In 2006, Ms Norton's doctor advised her that, within two years, she would have to sell her house in the Cork countryside and move to the city because she would no longer be able to drive.
The diagnosis was devastating: "It was beginning to have an effect on all aspects of my life. Driving was becoming a challenge, particularly at night.
"One part of my job as an art curator requires me to proof catalogues and the text was so distorted it was proving more and more difficult to read. Even simple pleasures like gardening or watching television weren't enjoyable any more."
Ms Norton suffers from Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which results in a loss of central vision.
Somebody with AMD can see everything except what he or she is looking at, and is therefore unable to read, watch TV, drive, or recognise a loved one's face.
Then she heard about the work at MPRG and its principal investigator, Professor John Nolan.
Within six months of using the supplement they prescribed, she noticed a significant improvement in her eyesight – and in less than one year, she described her sight as near perfect.
Prof Nolan said: "Studies have shown that certain nutritional supplements can reduce the rate at which the disease progresses. Also, recent clinical trials from our centre have demonstrated how these supplements actually improve vision in these patients."