Too Much of a Good Thing

by Cora Lyn Sears (see her biography at the end of this page)

2016 was a bad year. In the Spring I lost my hair, in the Fall I was diagnosed with wet AMD. How much worse could it get?

About 11 years ago I was diagnosed with mild AMD in both eyes, and took the Vitalux brand AREDS2 eye vitamins faithfully twice a day. (my mother lost her vision to AMD).

At my regular optometrist appointment last Fall it was determined one eye had advanced to wet. I was devastated! I hadn’t noticed much change in my vision, except I needed slightly more light to read and the reading portion of my progressive lenses seemed to have gotten smaller. The Amsler Grid still showed the same few wavy lines and few very light ‘puffs of smoke’ but nothing terrible. The speed of what followed was a bit scary – an almost immediate appointment with a retinal specialist followed by my first injection the next day.

Before this I had known of the injections for wet AMD but hadn’t thought much about them, thinking incorrectly a few injections would stop it almost permanently.

To date I’ve had the first three injections followed by the OCT testing which showed bleeding still happening. Then two more and another test. Still bleeding. Now on my next group of three.

I had begun researching and discovered your Facebook page and website, spending more time online than I thought possible. The more I read, the more I needed to read. The links to articles about the amount of zinc in my eye vitamins being a possible problem led me to search for the ones with less zinc, which were actually not that easy to find. Someone on your Facebook page suggested Walmart, which is where I finally bought them and switched in the late fall. [Lin/Linda: there are several options from Walmart, only PreserVision have the exact ingredients from the AREDS2 research study.  Click here to see what’s available.]

Now the other part:

Last spring I started losing my hair and within three weeks I was completely hairless. Alopecia universalis!  I tried everything my doctor or I could find with no success. An appointment with a dermatologist confirmed my worst suspicions that this was permanent. Apparently an autoimmune problem. Zinc enhances immunity, right? And I had been overdosing on it for over 10 years. So less zinc should help the autoimmune caused hair loss, shouldn’t it?

But then why is so much zinc in the AREDS2 formula when AMD is connected to the immune system as well?

In January I grew a few eyelashes, then came a few baby fine eyebrow hairs. Now, 14 months after losing my hair and seven or so months after cutting down the amount of zinc, I am starting to see a tiny bit of new growth on my head – only perhaps a few dozen or so, but it’s a start.

It’s amazing how everything in our body is connected and works in harmony, until it doesn’t.

An afterthought… Use the Amsler Grid by a window, not in the bathroom. I saw more wavy lines and puffs of smoke there than I had seen in the bathroom.

written July 23rd, 2017


I’m a healthy 70 year old woman. That’s hard to write as I really still feel 40. I live in Victoria, a beautiful city on the west coast of Canada. I’m divorced with two children and one older teenage grandson. I hike about 5 miles three or four times a week with a wonderful group of like-minded women. I’m a retired journeyman painter with varied creative interests such as sewing and photography. I love to travel, whether a road trip or something farther afield. I’ve followed a low-carb diet for years. I’ve had both hips replaced due to arthritis and sometimes I think if this was 50 years ago, I’d be sitting in a corner in a wheelchair going blind.

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