• Adler Eye Institute

Treating the Leading Cause of Vision Loss.

Macular Degeneration and Nutritional Supplements.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease caused by damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the eye’s retina that is responsible for our central vision. This condition affects both distance and close vision and can make some activities – like threading a needle or reading – very difficult or nearly impossible.

Although the exact causes of AMD are not fully understood, scientific studies have shown that antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the impact of AMD in some people. Among people at high risk for late-stage macular degeneration (those with intermediate AMD in both eyes or advanced AMD in one eye), a dietary supplement of vitamins C, and E, and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowered the risk of the disease progressing to advanced stages by about 25 to 30 percent.

How Does it Work?

Light may affect the eye by stimulating oxygen, leading to the production of highly reactive and damaging compounds called free radicals. Antioxidant vitamins (vitamins C and E and beta carotene) may work against this activated oxygen and help slow progress of macular degeneration.

Zinc, one of the most common minerals in our body, is very concentrated in the eye, particularly in the retina and macula. Zinc is necessary for the action of over 100 enzymes, including chemical reaction in the retina. Studies show some older people have low levels of zinc in their blood. Because zinc is important for the health of the macula, supplements of zinc in the diet may slow down the process of macular degeneration. Dr. Adler recommends that you not take zinc alone as a supplement but rather as a multi-vitamin with zinc. Taking zinc alone can cause copper deficiency and anemia.

There are several multi-vitamin supplements commercially available. Please consult an ophthalmologist before taking any multi-formula for the eye. Call our office today for more information or recommendations.