Quick Resources

  Online Support Group & Forum
  Find Doctor / Treatment Center
  Helpful Forms & Charts
  Symptoms
  Therapies
  Diet / Iron Content In Foods
  Genetics
  Join Physician Registry


Iron contributes to the leading causes of vision loss


Iron contributes to the leading causes of vision loss

Iron is a necessary mineral for many of the body’s functions, including vision. But too much iron – or problems with utilizing, storing, or transporting iron properly – can lead to vision loss in the form of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and hyperferritinemia syndrome, according to recent research findings.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is regarded as the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age of 50. The macula, a small portion of the retina which is responsible for sharp and detailed vision, deteriorates over time when the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) surrounding the macula oxidizes – triggering an inflammatory response.

While smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise typically contribute to oxidation of the retina, research has found that iron may also increase a person’s risk of AMD, according to Dr. Joshua Dunaief, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. 

“Iron accumulates in the body with age because we continue to absorb it from our diets, but we excrete very little,” Dunaief said. “Iron may accumulate to even higher levels in diseased retinas because low oxygen levels (hypoxia) or inflammation can cause cells to retain iron.”

Normally the RPE has ways to prevent iron from entering the retina when iron levels are high, but if iron export from cells is unregulated, iron may accumulate in the eye and degrade the macula. Dunaief’s research has shown that the oral iron chelator deferiprone may be a possible treatment for AMD if iron accumulation was one of the causes for its development. Iron chelation therapy is the removal of excess iron from the body with special drugs.

“Deferiprone can protect the retinas of mice by entering the retina and removing iron from it,” said Dunaief, whose lab is currently testing additional drugs to prevent iron accumulation in the eye.

Oftentimes the storage protein for iron, ferritin, can reach the eye instead of the mineral itself. The result is hereditary hyperferritinemia cataract syndrome (HHCS), an inherited condition of early-onset cataracts which could be dangerously confused with hemochromatosis (iron overload) unless a person is diagnosed using the full iron panel:

  • Hemoglobin: the iron-containing protein in the blood that carries iron and oxygen to cells; this test measures how well the body is using iron
  • Transferrin-iron saturation percentage (TS%): a measure of iron carried by the protein transferrin in the serum; represented by fasting serum iron divided by total iron binding capacity (TIBC), multiplied by 100%
  • Serum ferritin: indicates the amount of iron stored in the body, via the protein ferritin

People with HHCS typically have normal TIBC and TS% test results but elevated serum ferritin levels (Hyperferritinemia means high ferritin in the blood). A liver biopsy will show that the patient does not have iron overload. An ophthalmologist confirms diagnosis of HHCS.

But how can the body’s storage sites for iron be full without iron overflowing into other organs? The answer is that a genetic mutation has turned off the body’s ability to make ferritin in response to changing iron levels. This means that ferritin is constantly being made no matter whether iron levels are high or low. In HHCS, components of ferritin accumulate in the eye lens and crystalize – disrupting the light transmission which enables a person to see.

If an HHCS patient is falsely diagnosed with hemochromatosis, phlebotomies used to remove excess iron from the body could make the person become iron deficient. Right now, the only known treatment for HHCS is cataract surgery.

30 comments (Add your own)

1. google play codes wrote:
It has been so easy way here to get the google codes here.

Wed, June 21, 2017 @ 3:33 PM

2. Lynn wrote:
Hi,
I was dx with HHCS and have had bad health throughout my life.

I thought it was Lyme disease(which I have), but now I think in someway the HHCS is causes the body pain, eye pressure and painful hands, abdominal problems and major weakness


I just had IV oxygen therapy and while they were taking out the blood my pain got better.
Blood work
WBC 3.1L
Hemoglobin 11.6L
absolute neutrophils 1494 L
Creatine, serum 0.50 L
Bun/Creatine ratio 26 H
Iron total 80
Iron binding Capacity 404
% saturation 20
Ferritin 1194 H

I really don't know what to do, the doctors are no help.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Lynn
Bun/creatine

Sat, July 15, 2017 @ 2:41 PM

3. Sharon wrote:
I have Macular Degdneration and I am 63 years old.
I have been experiencing hair loss so I recently had blood work for iron and ferritin.
My two low levels are.....Iron 36, and satuation at 9 . Also my ferritin level is 37.

The recommendation was to take ferritin with vit c twice daily but I am so fearful of my eyes.

Any suggestions?

Sat, August 19, 2017 @ 12:01 PM

4. play addiction solitaire online free wrote:
addiction solitaire is an amazing game you love to play this game online it is the sequential version of solitaire game her 4 players required to play this game this game is full of fun and entertainment.

Mon, August 21, 2017 @ 4:31 AM

5. cool math games wrote:
thanks for the meticulous content articles or simply just essential critiques

Wed, March 7, 2018 @ 7:37 PM

6. marina wrote:
Pc Optimization
Windows Installation
Data Recovery
Termite Control

Mon, April 30, 2018 @ 8:22 AM

7. Julya wrote:
Valuable tips we can find here.

Mon, May 7, 2018 @ 3:26 AM

8. Emma wrote:
This article is fascinating.

Thu, May 24, 2018 @ 2:47 AM

9. Lola wrote:
This text is excellent.

Tue, May 29, 2018 @ 6:59 AM

10. vex 3 wrote:
Great, thanks for sharing this useful information
shell shockers

Sun, June 10, 2018 @ 10:56 PM

11. Shirley creighton wrote:
Hey there I'm 30 and been trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Seriously doctor after doctor just says stuff they don't even know sooo if anyone out there wants to help that's cool lol I have been going blind my whole life they say "smoking is bad" but thc and cons vape and like gifts from heaven ifc what they say lol I've also found certain foods make a big difference like foods high in magnesia potassium iron sodium carbonate and protein with sat fat idk whatt all this means to the average eye. It here's a kicker they decided I was automatic because of how I perceive reality so like asbergs but I really think my senses have always made me this way and if that helps further anyone's research I'm happy to chat will be in Pennsylvania in a few weeks I have been in California stidhi g while I had the chance to see literally the world :) keep the faith guys because no matter what someone does care even if it's just me /p

Wed, June 13, 2018 @ 8:26 AM

12. maria wrote:
t is superb content I thought and even I was searching similar this subject articles for knowing about it.

Tue, June 19, 2018 @ 4:01 AM

13. emotional stress wrote:
Hey, “Every week for an hour, students from the general ed school joined my kids and they did the talk show together,” she said. “They were able to show the range of disabilities that our students have but also how brave and determined they are to stand up for themselves.”

Wed, June 20, 2018 @ 1:14 AM

14. PMAY wrote:
Hello, The NASCAR® Credit Card from Credit One Bank® doesn't exactly lap the competition. General rewards credit cards offer more value for your

Wed, June 20, 2018 @ 1:15 AM

15. Dächer mit Solarzellen wrote:
Anerkannte Regeln der Technik für die Nutzung von Solarenergie gibt es sowohl für die Gebäudeplanung, wie zum Beispiel für den

Wed, June 20, 2018 @ 1:19 AM

16. mangafox wrote:
Thousands of high-quality free manga for you. ☆Updated daily! ☆Total Free! ☆Faster! ☆High-quality!

Fri, June 29, 2018 @ 10:19 AM

17. viagra_cheap wrote:
Hello!

Wed, July 18, 2018 @ 3:13 AM

18. buy_viagra wrote:
Hello!

Wed, July 18, 2018 @ 3:13 AM

19. cialis wrote:
Hello!

Wed, July 18, 2018 @ 3:13 AM

20. payday wrote:
Hello!

Wed, July 18, 2018 @ 3:13 AM

21. cialis wrote:
Hello!

Wed, July 18, 2018 @ 3:14 AM

22. canadian_cialis wrote:
Hello!

Mon, July 23, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

23. indian_viagra wrote:
Hello!

Mon, July 23, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

24. super wrote:
Hello!

Mon, July 23, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

25. indian_cialis wrote:
Hello!

Mon, July 23, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

26. cheap_viagra wrote:
Hello!

Mon, July 23, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

27. clouds wrote:
My mum had small cell terminal lung cancer. She lost her hair while going through chemo and it devastated. She has recently finished her radiotherapy and she was losing her hair again :( mum wanted me to shave it off again as it's coming out in clumps.i know she was very upset and have told her to be confident it'll grow back but she's so upset, life became hell for me, because i just cant imagine my mum this way. i actually posted this online, and somebody replied me, that he knows once who can cure my mum, without spending much money and without taking anytime anymore, and there wont be any hair loss anymore. I said okay and i want to give it a try, the person that helped him (the person that i was referred to) is Dr Covenant, his email is covenantsolutiontemple@gmail.com, he gave me his email address and i contacted him and told him everything, he (Dr Covenant) said i should not worry everything'll be okay in space of 8 days, i actually gave him a try.
It was not up to the 3rd day, i started noticing changes in my mum. Now my mum is healthy back and the cancer is gone. Am so grateful about this. I actually thought that my mum was going to die, but now she is still alive. Friends, if you have any problem such as cancer, or other illness like HIV/AIDS, GONORRHEA, or any other illness at all, and he is also specialized in getting ex back contact Dr Covenant on his email covenantsolutiontemple@gmail.com or add him on watsapp on +2349057353987 or call him directly on +2348146671563. you can also go through his website if interested http://covenantspelltemple.blogspot.com.
MY BEST FRIEND IS STILL ALIVE, AM GRATEFUL COVENANT.

Wed, July 25, 2018 @ 12:33 PM

28. tank trouble wrote:
Dunaief’s research has shown that the oral iron chelator deferiprone may be a possible treatment for AMD if iron accumulation was one of the causes for its development..

Thu, August 2, 2018 @ 1:12 AM

29. wings io wrote:
Your post is great and very interesting, thank you.

Wed, September 5, 2018 @ 11:17 PM

30. wrote:
Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to tell her.

Sat, September 15, 2018 @ 2:59 PM

Add a New Comment


code
 

Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.