What are eye vitamins and will they help my deteriorating vision?

Dr. Matt Alpert is the owner and lead optometrist at Alpert Vision Care in Woodland Hills, CA.

Eye vitamins are daily supplements that promote eye health and prevent the progression of conditions like age-related macular degeneration or AMD. AMD is a disturbance in a part of the eye called the macula, which helps us to see detail in the center of our vision. If left untreated, AMD can lead to severe vision loss and blindness.

Eye vitamins are similar to multivitamins, but they contain a larger amount of eye-healthy nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3s. Ideally, you should be getting your daily dose of these nutrients from a healthy diet, but eye vitamins are a great way to fill in the nutritional gaps, especially for people 55 or older.

In the National Eye Institute's Age-Related Eye Disease Study, scientists and doctors discovered that the nutrients in eye vitamins act as antioxidants, eliminating toxins in the body.

Eye vitamins have helped slow the effects of deteriorating vision in some people, but there is no guarantee they will help or cure your specific vision condition. Generally, eye vitamins are most effective in those who already have some form of AMD. (If you find that you’re seeing dark spots in the center of your vision, this could be a sign that AMD has already set in.)

The most common side effect of eye vitamins is an upset stomach. Taking eye vitamins with food usually fixes this problem. Be sure to read the label on any eye vitamin packaging for warnings and instructions for use.

Be smart about your eye health—see your VSP doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to find out if you’re at risk for developing AMD and whether or not eye vitamins might be right for you. Consult your doctor before taking eye vitamins if you are currently taking other supplements or medication.

The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your eyecare doctor or physician for actual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article is the work of the attributed author and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of VSP.  If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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