Vitamins and Vision Loss


You’ve probably seen ads for vitamins to protect your vision. So can vitamins really prevent vision loss? Which supplements prevent age-related macular degeneration?

Can vitamins prevent vision loss?

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, or AREDS, studied whether taking specially formulated vitamins kept people with age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, from losing more vision. Researchers found that supplements did slow down the progression to advanced AMD for people who already had it.

Which vitamins and supplements prevent macular degeneration?

Last year, the National Eye Institute released results from the AREDS2 study, which changed the formula. AREDS2 supplements work slightly better than the original AREDS vitamins, especially for people with low dietary levels of the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.

The AREDS2 formula is vitamin E (400 IU), vitamin C (500 mg), zinc (80 mg), copper (2mg) and lutein/zeaxanthin (10mg/2mg).

The AREDS2 supplements do not contain beta-carotene, which can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers and former smokers. They have lutein/zeaxanthin instead. In the most recent study, this combination was found to be superior to beta-carotene.

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) were studied in the AREDS2 trial but were not found to be beneficial, so they are not included in the current recommended formula.

Learn more about AREDS and AREDS2.

Where should I buy supplements to prevent vision loss from AMD?

If you have AMD, you may benefit from taking the AREDS2 formula. At the drugstore, you can find Ocuvite PreserVision AREDS2 (green label). Online, you can find Visivite (the AREDS2 “Red Formula” is suitable for vegans), and Viteyes. Your Optical Solutions doctor can recommend the right formulation and dose.

Should everyone take vitamins to prevent vision loss?

If you don’t have AMD, there is no proven benefit to taking vision supplements. To prevent vision loss, ophthalmologists recommend eating a nutritious diet rich in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, avoiding smoking and getting regular eye exams.

A dilated eye examination is the only way to find AMD. If you do develop this disease, catching it as early as possible allows you to start supplements, or treatments for wet AMD, as soon as possible.

Make an appointment

AMD is more common in people 50 and older. Everyone in this age group needs a complete eye exam every year or two.

If you need an eye exam, have symptoms of macular degeneration or are concerned about your eye health, request an appointment online or call Optical Solutions at 330-797-8780.

Published by knanosky

Our first piece of advice when we bought our Airstream was from friends and fellow campers. They said to make sure you "keep the shiny side up." Something that struck me kind of funny, but so true :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: