Understanding Vitamins for AMD

Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)

In 2001, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) researchers reported that a vitamin supplement called the AREDS formulation could reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In 2006, the same research group, based at National Institute of Health’s National Eye Institute, began a second study called AREDS2. They wanted to determine if they could improve the AREDS formulation. They tested the following: adding antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids, removing beta-carotene, and lowering the dose of zinc.

AREDS 1

What is the original AREDS vitamin formulation?
-500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
-400 international units of vitamin E
-80 mg zinc as zinc oxide
-15 mg beta-carotene
-2 mg copper as cupric oxide

AREDS2

What modifications were tested in AREDS2 vitamins?
-10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin
-1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (350 mg DHA and 650 mg EPA)
-25 mg zinc
No beta-carotene

Why did they change the AREDS2 formulation? Why add lutein/zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids? Previous studies had found that dietary intake of lutein/zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of developing advanced AMD.

Why eliminate beta-carotene? During the AREDS trial, two large trials funded by the National Cancer Institute found that beta-carotene may increase lung cancer risk among people who smoke. Lutein and zeaxanthin are in the same family of nutrients as beta-carotene and are believed to have important functions in the retina. Therefore, the researchers theorized that lutein/zeaxanthin might be a safer and possibly more effective alternative than beta-carotene.

Why reduce the vitamin zinc? Although zinc was found to be an essential component of the AREDS formulation in the original trial, some nutritional experts recommended a lower dose.

You can buy AREDS2 formula eye vitamins at all of The Optical Gallery locations at The Eye Associates.

NEW Sight Saving Test for Dry Macular Degeneration Patients

Do you have dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

The Notal Vision Home monitoring device for dry AMD patients.

Foresee Home AMD Monitoring Program

Studies show that up to 43% of dry macular degeneration patients progress to wet AMD. The progression can be so subtle that you may not even notice it at first. Since our brain can compensate for poor vision in one eye by filling in missing areas, often new visual distortions from wet macular degeneration are missed.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels in the eye start to bleed. This causes damage to the macula in the retina. Luckily there are effective treatments for wet AMD, but the success of these treatments depends on early detection and treatment.

The Eye Associates has always recommended that macular degeneration patients do a daily vision check at home with a amsler grid. It a simple way to detect vision changes that occur when dry macular degeneration becomes wet. Now there is a high-tech version of the amsler grid that can detect changes earlier so treatment can be started earlier. The ForeseeHome is the first FDA-cleared home monitoring device that is clinically proven to detect even the smallest changes in your vision.

This simple 3 minute test  that you do in the comfort of your own home detects early changes in your vision. You test one eye at a time by looking into the Foresee Home device. When used daily, ForeseeHome detects changes before you notice them yourself. This allows you and your doctor to monitor your vision for any changes between eye exams. Monthly reports are sent directly to your doctor and any changes will be an indication that you need to be seen immediately.

Click here  to view a video about Foresee Home.

How to get the Forsee Home

If you are interested in getting a Foresee Home, contact The Eye Associates. Your doctor will write an order for the device. Notal Vision, the maker of the Forsee Home, will contact you for your insurance information. Insurance will usually cover the cost. The device will then be shipped to your home with instructions on how to set it up, as well as a help line phone number. You do not need a computer to use it. It can be used with wi-fi, cellular service and a landline.

Remember early detection is key in saving sight. Call 1-866-865-2020 for more information.