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Vitamins Combat Age-related Blindness

Hundreds of thousands of people could benefit from vitamin supplements shown to help prevent macular degeneration, a condition that is the leading cause of blindness from age 65, according to a new study conducted at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.

The researchers found a reduced risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration and vision loss for test subjects who had been given high-dose antioxidant supplements: vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, and zinc.

They estimate there are 8 million Americans at least 55 years old thought to be at high risk for macular degeneration. If all the people at risk were to take adequate antioxidants, more than 300,000 of them would avoid advanced macular degeneration and any associated vision loss during the next five years, the study found.

"If even half of the individuals at high risk for were identified and compliant with the recommended supplement, it is likely that more than 150,000 individuals would avoid vision loss for some time," the investigators reported. "These data suggest that the recommendation of such a supplement for these individuals should have a major impact on them as well as on the public health," the authors conclude.

If you have a concern about your vision, or want to take a supplement to protect your vision, make an appointment for a consultation with one of our physicians. If you live far from the clinic, we offer phone consultations. Your good vision is precious. Don't delay taking steps to protect your eyesight. Get started here:


SOURCE: Archives of Ophthalmology, November 2003.