Ask a Doctor: Will eye vitamins help my eyes?

Ask a Doctor: Will eye vitamins help my eyes?

April 10th, 2018 by Dr. Francis C. DeCroos in Life Entertainment

Francis C. DeCroos, Southeastern Retina Associates

Francis C. DeCroos, Southeastern Retina Associates

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Q: Will eye vitamins help my eyes?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) treats vitamins like a food rather than a medicine. Typically a scientific trial must be performed to prove a benefit before a medicine is sold; however this is not the case for vitamins or food. This means that most vitamins that claim to help vision have not been evaluated in a clinical trial.

One vitamin formulation that has been tested is the AREDS 2 formulation (from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study). This formulation was tested in a large clinical trial funded by the U.S. government. This trial demonstrated that the AREDS 2 formula helped prevent the onset of a eye disease called neovascular age-related macular degeneration in certain people. An eye doctor can determine if you might be one of the people that may benefit from the AREDS 2 formula, as not all people tested in the clinical trial benefited from the drug.

— Dr. Francis C. DeCroos, Southeastern Retina Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

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