As you age, use vitamins and minerals to protect your vision against macular degeneration. A clinical study known as the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that a combination of vitamins and minerals, when used daily, can slow the progression of moderate to extensive age-related macular degeneration. This study looked at the effects of these vitamins on patients who are 55 to 80 years old. While it does not cure the disease or prevent vision loss completely in all patients, these supplements appear to slow down the disease’s progression in some patients.
The daily supplements (often referred to as the AREDS supplements) used in the study were:
- Vitamin C 500 mg
- Vitamin E 400 IU
- Beta-carotene 15 mg (15,000 IU)
- Zinc oxide 80 mg
- Cupric oxide 2 mg
If you are looking to prevent vision loss with these vitamins, some commercial supplements that contain these doses include:
- Ocuvite Preservision
- Icaps AREDS Formula
- Viteyes AREDS
Other brands of vitamins are advertised as helpful in the prevention of macular degeneration. However, please be advised that the doses in the AREDS vitamins and minerals listed above are the only ones scientifically proven to have an effect on slowing the progression of moderate to advanced macular degeneration.
Regardless of the brand you select please follow the label directions for the number of tablets or capsules to take each day. Please note that these doses are much higher than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Further, the doses recommended in the AREDS formula are much higher than in commonly available multivitamins. If you are already taking a multivitamin, do not add the AREDS doses since this will result in taking higher than recommended doses. Please note that vitamins, like any other substance we ingest, can have side effects or interact with other medications you are taking. Please talk to your doctor before initiating any new natural health regimes.
Unfortunately, vitamins cannot solve all of your vision problems. If you are struggling to see long distances or finding that you are unable to read at arm’s length, visit 360 Eyecare – Metro for a comprehensive eye exam. Our optometrists may be able to enhance your vision beyond the benefits of your vitamin regime. Visit us in downtown Toronto to get the prescription and vision therapy that you need to see differently.