Are eye vitamins right for you?
Updated On: Jun 20 2014 11:57:12 PM EDT
More than half of all Americans take some type of daily nutritional supplement, even though recent research suggests a multivitamin has little if any long-term health benefit.
However, optometrists say some vitamins marketed as beneficial for eyes do play a role in reducing your risk for macular degeneration.
Publix supermarkets for example stock more than 15 different brands of eye vitamins. Target also has more than a dozen options.
We spoke with Doctor of Optometry Trisha Tran with Eye Express in Fern Park and she says recent research says the vitamins do work.
"It slows down the progression of certain types of macular degeneration by 25 percent. So it's been proven that this combination of vitamins help."
She describes macular degeneration as the build up of deposits on the retina.
Dr. Tran says the vitamins provide nutritional support for your retina.
"The vitamins contain a lot of antioxidants, so they slow down the progression of the disease," she said, "The antioxidants take the garbage out so they help take all this stuff out of your eye and slow it down."
She says the vitamin brands containing Lutein and Zeaxanthin appear to provide the best benefit.
Eye vitamins aren't for everyone though. She says only those who have already been diagnosed with macular degeneration should take them and even then, only after consulting with a doctor.
"I think the major thing you want to be concerned about is how they interact with other drugs you may be taking or other medical problems."
She also suggests a yearly eye exam to evaluate overall eye health.