New Information for Macular Degeneration Supplementation

The Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2) have been a major source of information regarding how we treat Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Recently, the study has provided us with more useful information.

Background:

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in Americans 60 years of age and older. Approximately 30% of the people over 75 years of age have some degree of AMD. Patients with late-stage disease suffer the greatest degree of vision loss, while patients with mild or moderate disease enjoy relatively low levels of vision loss. In order to improve our care for this significant condition, the AREDS studies were created. The original AREDS study (1996) produced a vitamin formulation which was effective at reducing the risk of AMD progression. When given to early and moderate stage AMD patients, it reduced the risk of disease progression to late-stage AMD by 26%. However, the supplement contained beta carotene which poses an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers. Therefore, a second “smoker’s” formulation was made without beta carotene. In 2006 a new supplement was devised, the AREDS2 formulation. The AREDS2 formulation replaced beta carotene with lutein and zeaxanthin. It has become the mainstay of what we recommend to our AMD patients as a preventative supplement. It was generally regarded that the AREDS and AREDS2 supplements had equal levels of benefit, but the AREDS2 supplement was generally safer to use.

Results:

Ten year data from the AREDS2 study shows the AREDS2 supplement is even MORE effective at slowing AMD progression then the original AREDS supplement. Specifically, it has an ADDITIONAL 20% reduced risk of disease progression to late AMD compared to the original AREDS supplement with beta carotene. These results clearly show that patients with early and moderate stage AMD should be taking a supplement and that supplement should be AREDS2.

Visit our website in the future for other useful information. If you would like to be under our care for your eye and vision needs, feel free to make an appointment to see one of our excellent providers.    

Author
Jon Peet, MS, MD Jon Peet, MS, MD Jon Peet, MD, is a board-eligible comprehensive ophthalmologist & eye surgeon working with patients throughout Blue Bell, Hatboro, Bethlehem, and Levittown, Pennsylvania. Offering more than 11 years of experience, Dr. Peet currently treats patients at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, P.C. Dr. Peet specializes in Anterior Segment/Cataract Surgery, Medical Retina Care, and Glaucoma Care.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Comprehensive Eye Exam

To ensure that your eyes function properly and remain healthy, you need to undergo regular comprehensive eye exams. To prepare for your eye exam, you’ll need to bring a few things.

Tepezza for Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease can have a significant impact on patient eye health. It may initially present as a simple dry eye, but can progress to more serious conditions such as double vision or permanent vision loss. In the past we had treatment options geared t

Diet and the Eye

Maintaining good nutrition affects every aspect of your health, so it is also important in preserving the health of your eyes. A low fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains can help your heart as well as your eyes. Your eyes rely on many

Swimming and Contact Lenses

It’s summertime and the weather has been scorching hot. It’s the perfect time to head down to the shore, go to a water park, or find a local swimming pool to cool down.

How To Know If Your Child Needs an Eye Exam

Have you ever noticed your child is squinting or holding reading material extremely close to their face? Do they seem to have a short attention span or have difficulty reading? While these observations can indicate a learning difficulty, the solution may

Diabetes and the Eye

How can diabetes affect my eyes? Ocular complications from diabetes are a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the United States. The longer one has a diagnosis of diabetes and the longer the blood sugar is poorly controlled the higher the