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