There is only one eye vitamin proven to be effective for any eye disease. The AREDS 2 formulation for macular degeneration is the only vitamin proven to reduce the chance of severe vision loss in select patients with macular degeneration.
The initial study, funded by the National Eye Institute, was the “Age Related Eye Disease Study” (AREDS) and was to determine the effects of antioxidants and other minerals (principally zinc) on the development and progression of macular degeneration and cataracts.
The initial NIH study found the following:
A second study, Age Related Eye Disease Study 2, also conducted by the National Eye Institute (NEI), was designed to determine:
Essentially, the AREDS 2 study confirmed the positive conclusions of the first study, and that:
It should be stressed that most patients do NOT need to be taking vitamins.
Only patients who have been diagnosed with macular degeneration AND who also have select risk factors should be advised to take the AREDS 2 formulation. Specifically, if your doctor determines that you have intermediate or advanced risk factors based upon a dilated eye examination, then you may consider taking the AREDS 2 formulation for macular degeneration.
Risk factors determining the severity of the disease include
The AREDS 2 are NOT going to improve your vision. The AREDS 2 will decrease the chance of severe vision loss by about 25% given the fact the you have higher than normal risk factors for the progression of the disease.