Do not put too much hope on vitamin supplements to prevent age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, a leading cause of vision loss in individuals who are over 50 years old. AMD blurs the sharp and central vision needed to see objects that are straight ahead. Those suffering from this eye condition have difficulty sewing, reading, and driving.
No Evidence Of Vitamin Supplements Preventing AMD
Some think that taking vitamin supplements will prevent the onset of this eye disease but findings of a new research suggest otherwise.
To determine if taking antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements can prevent the development of AMD, Jenny Evans, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues analyzed the data of five earlier studies involving more than 75,000 people that compared the effects of taking vitamin supplements and placebos on the likelihood of developing AMD.
They found that the people who took the supplements had similar odds of developing AMD as those who did not take them.
The study, which was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in July 2017, found that taking beta-carotene and vitamin E supplements will not prevent the development of AMD in individuals without signs of the condition. The researchers also think that taking vitamin C and multivitamin tablets has similar negligible effect on preventing AMD.
What this means, according to the researchers, is that taking vitamin supplements is not necessary for healthy individuals who do not have eye problems.
Advice To Patients At Higher Risk Of Developing AMD
For those with increased odds of contracting the eye problem, the researchers said that the choice not to take supplements will not likely place them at greater risk of developing AMD. The researchers, however, noted that taking vitamin supplements is generally regarded as safe.
Other options are available for people likely to develop AMD. People with an increased risk of contracting eye diseases need to meet with their eye care practitioner. Eye specialists may help reduce a person’s risk of AMD or at least slow its progression by providing medical advice on lifestyle choices that can affect eye health.
No cure currently exists for AMD but there are treatments that can delay progression or even improve vision. Eye care professionals may advise you to get a dilated exam at least once a year to determine if your condition is advancing.
Contact us here at See Island Eyecare to set up an appointment with one of our eye specialists to get expert advice on preventing or slowing down the progression of AMD.