While all eye supplements are not created equal, they all provide similar benefits. If you're not sure how to choose the best product to manage your eye health, consider ingredients, cost, industry recommendations, consumer reviews, and effectiveness.
Age Related Eye Disease Study
The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) of 2001 was a major clinical trial to investigate the effect of certain vitamins and minerals on age related eye diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration. The results of the study produced a formulation of supplements supported by the National Eye Institute to support eye health.
The AREDS trial determined certain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are important in the prevention of age related eye disease. Manufacturers of ocular supplements cite it is difficult to get therapeutic levels of all these nutrients through diet alone and recommend a healthy diet along with daily supplements.
Supplements based on the findings of the AREDS study are likely to contain:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Subjects taking the formula showed a 19% reduced risk of vision loss and a 25% reduced risk of developing age related macular degeneration. Many multivitamins have come on the market using the formulary generated by this clinical trial.
Supplements for Eye Health
ICAPS by Alcon offers four varieties of supplements to support healthy eyes. On their website, they offer an interactive application to help the consumer choose which formulation is right for them.
The ICAPS eye vitamin AREDS formula is specifically based on the formulation proposed by the Age Related Eye Disease Study. The recommended dosage is two capsules per day.
ICAPS can be purchased at any local pharmacy without a prescription and at Walmart. Costs average between $15 and $25 per one month supply. Walmart.com gives ICAPS 4.4 out of 5 stars based on consumer reviews.
According to the November, 2003 edition of Archives of Ophthalmology, Ocuvite Preservision by Bausch and Lomb was the first available supplement specifically formulated based on findings from the AREDS trial. The recommended dosage is two tablets in the morning and two in the evening with meals.
Ocuvite Preservision is available over the counter at most pharmacies. The price averages about $25 for a 2 month supply (240 tablets). Drugstore.com gives Ocuvite 4.5 out of 5 stars based on consumer reviews.
Macular Health Formula
Macular Health Formula by Eye Science is also formulated based on AREDS findings. Consumers are directed to take two tablets each day with meals.
The product is available at ACLens.com. The cost is lower if you register for auto-delivery, which ensures a new supply every thirty days. Costs average between $29 and $33 per month. Amazon.com gives Macular Health Formula 4.7 out of 5 stars based on consumer reviews.
Oculair by Biosyntrx is available at ProfessionalSupplementCenter.com. Oculair uses a formula that provides all the nutrients used in the AREDS trial. The recommended dosage is two tablets each morning with food and two tablets each evening with food.
A one month supply averages $39.95 from the manufacturer. Based on consumer reviews, ProfessionalSupplementCenter.com gives Oculair 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Do You Need a Supplement?
As with any supplement, it is important to work with your health care provider to determine what is best for you. If you are concerned about the health of your eyes, an ocular supplement may be a good way to support your vision in advancing years.