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Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eye-vitamins/AN01763
- With Mayo Clinic emeritus ophthalmologist
Dennis Robertson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Dennis Robertson, M.D.Dennis Robertson, M.D.
Dennis M. Robertson was born in South St. Paul, Minn., and grew up in a musical family on the Mississippi River. He completed his undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Minnesota, where he received a B.A., B.S. and M.D.
Following an internship at San Bernardino County Hospital in California, he worked for two years on Indian reservations under the umbrella of the United States Public Health Service. He later completed a residency in ophthalmology at Mayo Clinic and pursued postgraduate fellowship training in vitreoretinal disorders at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. He returned to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1967.
His studies included a sabbatical during 1987 and 1988 at Moorfields and St. Bartholomew’s hospitals in London. His scientific interests have been chiefly in disorders of the retina and vitreous and ocular oncology. In 1999, he became the recipient of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Professorship.
He retired from full time clinical practice in July 2004. In August 2005, he returned to work part-time at the Mayo Clinic until retiring again in December 2007.
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- Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
I have glaucoma and am wondering whether so-called eye vitamins could improve my vision or protect me from further vision loss?
from Dennis Robertson, M.D.
Probably not. A number of different dietary supplements are marketed for eye health. However, there is little evidence that any of these products — often marketed as eye vitamins — can prevent glaucoma or reverse vision loss due to glaucoma.
Few clinical trials of eye vitamins or supplements for glaucoma have been conducted. None has been rigorous enough or large enough to conclude a benefit in managing or treating glaucoma.
However, taking a high-dose formulation of antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the progression of dry macular degeneration — another eye disease. According to research by the National Eye Institute, formulations of vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc, and copper may reduce the risk of vision loss in people with intermediate macular degeneration. If you have advanced-stage macular degeneration in one eye, this combination of vitamins may reduce the risk that you'll develop vision loss in your other eye.
If you're interested in trying eye vitamins or supplements, discuss the benefits and risks with your eye doctor.Next question
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- Wilkinson JT, et al. Use of herbal medicines and nutritional supplements in ocular disorders: An evidence-based review. Drugs. 2011;71:2421.
- The AREDS formulation and age-related macular degeneration. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/amd/summary.asp. Accessed Jan. 24, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 21, 2012.