The last decade has seen a meteoric rise in the popularity of eye supplements. Many believe nutritional supplements aimed at eye health can actually prevent and treat the majority of the most common eye diseases.
As is the case with nutritional supplements, some of the “benefits” are confirmed by scientific studies whereas others are based on personal experiences not yet backed by solid scientific study. If you’re looking into eye supplements not only do you need to be weary of whether they work or not, you need to know which brands you can trust and most importantly, do you even really need them?
Do you really need eye supplements?
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the most common eye health problems experienced by people World over. It is also the primary concern for the majority of people looking into eye health supplements.
More than 8 million people are at risk of experiencing AMD which also happens to be one of the leading causes of vision loss. As a disease that advances over time, AMD is a major concern when it comes to eye health.
Luckily, eye supplements can help you battle the advancement of AMD. According to a study, patients with a high risk of advanced AMD have actually managed to reduce that risk by over 25% with the use of eye supplements. Usually these supplements work in combination with core ingredients being Vitamin C, E, beta carotene and zinc. Moreover, newer studies also revealed that vision loss caused by AMD can also be substantially reduced with the help of natural eye supplements by up to 19%.
There is however, little evidence to suggest that taking eye supplements can totally prevent people from developing AMD. According to a study conducted by the National Eye Institute, eye supplements can only prevent the worsening of AMD in patients that have already developed the symptoms.
NEI director Paul A. Sieving said regarding the study: “Millions of older Americans take nutritional supplements to protect their sight without clear guidance regarding benefit and risk. This study clarifies the role of supplements in helping prevent advanced AMD, an incurable, common, and devastating disease that robs older people of their sight and independence.”
What eye supplements cannot do
Lead researcher Emily Chew says eating a good balanced diet with plenty of leafy greens and fish is the way to go if you’re concerned about your eye health. With regards to supplements, Chew believes patients should only be recommended specific eye supplements when their eye exams shows signs of yellow spots known as drusen which is one of the most common signs of AMD.
Yellow spots are amongst the first signs that you’re developing AMD and in that case, eye supplements can help curb the disease from developing further. In general, you’ll find most of the eye supplements available in the market are rich in antioxidants. As is the case with other age related diseases, oxidative stress is one of the main reasons for AMD which is exactly what antioxidant rich eye supplements help to counter.
In other words, if you’re suffering from AMD, you might want to look further into eye supplements. If you’re just generally concerned about your eye health, then your multivitamins and a good diet plan should suffice!
What to look for in Eye Supplements?
Go to the market or research online and you’ll be able to find plenty of supplements marked for eye health. Here’s a list of some of the most essential nutrients that you should look for in your eye supplements.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids
- N-acetyl cysteine
- Alpha lipoic acid
In most cases you’ll find one or more of these nutrients packed into the conventional multivitamin supplement. However, your eye doctor would be in the best position to tell you the exact mix and dosage of nutrients you need in order to ensure proper eye health.
As should be the standard procedure when buying any kind of supplement from the market, always check product labels and buy from a brand you can trust. You need to ensure that the particular batch of supplement you are consuming is fresh, with a proper sealed bottle for your protection.