Can Meditation help with Macular Degeneration?

Can Meditation Help with Macular Degeneration?

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Avia

Meditation is a popular practice that uses mental and physical techniques to support different aspects of health and promote overall wellness. Most notably, it can improve concentration, develop better mind-body connections, and bring heightened awareness to help deal with emotions. Given the benefits of meditation, some forms can target specific concerns. To illustrate, candle meditation is a practice that promotes finding a state of calm by gazing at candlelight. It has different advantages for the body, including increased cognitive focus and enhanced mental health.

Practicing candle meditation improves eye health and can prevent the early onset of conditions like glaucoma. However, there is continued speculation whether meditation can also help address vision issues once these are already present in a patient, especially for more complex concerns such as macular degeneration. In this article, we look closer at macular degeneration as an eye condition and how meditation helps alleviate its effects on health.

Meditation for Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  It is a condition where the aging process causes vision loss over time. The retina is usually the most affected part of the eye since aging damages the macula, which is the part responsible for controlling the sharpness of vision. According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is very common and is currently the leading cause of vision loss for older adults. While it does not lead to total blindness, having AMD makes it difficult to see faces clearly, read properly, drive a vehicle, and do other close-up work such as household chores and cooking.

Treatment for AMD usually depends on the stage and type since there are dry and wet variations. Dry AMD causes the macula to thin with age, leading to progressive vision loss over time, while wet AMD is less common and causes faster vision loss. Any stage of dry AMD can turn wet since it is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye, leading to damage in the retina. With this, though, the most common intervention to address the effects of vision loss is specialized lenses. Most older adults already experience age-related refractive errors like presbyopia, and doctors may prescribe the use of progressives with bifocal lenses to address two different prescriptions.

Bifocals are designed to house two different magnification lenses, usually one for close distances and the other for farther vision. However, some patients with AMD may need more complex lenses. This is where varifocal lenses are prescribed, as these have three distinct portions: long distance at the top, reading at the bottom, and intermediate in the middle. Varifocals are ideal for people who need to see clearly over multiple distances, and unlike bifocals, the transition between different prescriptions is more subtle. This provides more ease of use, especially for those who need multiple prescriptions to see clearly.

How Does Meditation Help With Macular Degeneration?

While using specialized prescription lenses is usually the go-to intervention, it is essential to note that there are other ways to support patients living with vision loss and other effects of the condition. Specifically, meditation is a great way to alleviate some symptoms of AMD while supporting a patient’s overall well-being. Here, we detail how practicing meditation can help this particular eye condition.

Can Meditation help with Macular Degeneration?

Significantly Reduces Stress

Experiencing stress negatively impacts your mind and body, but did you know that it also has a role in the development of AMD? Some studies from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology show that oxidative stress can lead to an early onset of AMD and other age-related eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. This type of stress is when the body lacks antioxidants and cannot effectively repair damage from a lack of crucial nutrients, leading to inflammation. Significant factors that affect oxidative stress include diet, exposure to pollution, and lifestyle.

Besides eating more antioxidants through foods like tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, and turmeric, you can also practice meditation to reduce inflammation and further stress. Mindful meditation techniques like continuously focusing on breathing and doing yoga greatly help reduce stress and bring positive changes to the mind and body.

Helps With Changes Caused By the Condition

Conditions like AMD cause vision loss, which has varying levels of severity from patient to patient. However, the changes brought by the condition also affect mental health. Some experts cite that impaired vision is linked to lower mental health since it requires major adjustments to accommodate the condition and is a form of disability. People with AMD may feel a sense of hopelessness trying to live with their loss of vision, even with tools like varifocal lenses and other similar interventions. They may also experience social isolation and increased frustration over their loss of independence.

Fortunately, meditation and mindfulness help you build a stronger mind and attain strength to deal with difficult emotions. By utilizing mindfulness, your focus shifts towards self-care and acknowledgment to help you live with the effects of vision loss. This does not mean invalidating your emotions but rather making a space for them and redirecting your energy towards more productive things to support the changes brought by conditions like AMD. You can try new hobbies like listening to audiobooks, exercising more (with assistance, if needed), and exploring other avenues to help you be in tune with your mind and body.

Meditation for Macular Degeneration

Improves Quality of Sleep

Another overlooked effect of AMD is related to sleep. A study on AMD found that the condition causes sleep dysfunction among patients, showing poorer quality of sleep and some cases of sleep apnea. Generally, sleep deprivation increases the risk of AMD, and continued sleep dysfunction among adults with the condition can exacerbate its effects on the eye. Moreover, poor sleep quality is detrimental to overall health, as it can interfere with concentration, weaken the immune system, and affect mental clarity.

In line with this, patients with AMD can benefit from practicing meditation to help improve the quality of their sleep. As you’re getting ready for bed, you can try putting on relaxing music to calm you down. Then, do mindful breathing by taking big breaths while visualizing things that relax your mind and body. The beauty of meditation is how you can customize it to what works best to put your mind at ease, especially before sleeping. As such, it would also be beneficial to do trial and error to find the best strategies to support your sleeping habits.


We hope this article about whether or not meditation can help with macular degeneration has been eye-opening for you.  Of course, please consult with your doctor or other medical health provider to get expert advice and assistance with any eye condition.  Otherwise, meditation is a safe, easy way to improve your vision and eye health. (WYS) is a trusted Etsy affiliate & Amazon Associate. We also promote certain products we've tested and approved. As such, the website features sponsored products for Amazon or Etsy or other afiliates. Should you make a purchase from a link on this website, WYS may receive a small commission. This website also hosts advertisements. Please see our policy page for further information. Thank you for your purchases, as it contributes to keeping this website online and running.