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Macula health – are vitamin supplements really necessary?

Devinder Chauhan

26/08/2017

Macular degeneration (also known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss around the world. In Australia, approximately one in seven people aged over 50 have signs of the disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for AMD. However, there are a number of things that can help slow progression of the disease – namely, dietary changes, smoking cessation and, in some cases, taking certain medications or vitamin supplements. It’s therefore no surprise that a number of supplements that claim to support macula health are available for purchase.

As part of the Australian Government’s Be Medicine Wise week, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) has released a public health message advising consumers to consult an ophthalmologist about whether vitamin supplements are appropriate for their situation. In particular, RANZCO noted that clinical studies have not confirmed a benefit from supplementation in the absence or early stages of AMD.

One thing that is not in question is the recommendation to implement a healthy lifestyle and diet, including lots of fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables, omega 3-rich fish and low-GI carbohydrates. In this video, Vision Eye Institute’s Dr Devinder Chauhan talks about the importance of diet for macula health before teaming up with Leigh Dundas, executive chef of the Royce Hotel in Melbourne, to cook up some simple and tasty meals.

Find out more about diagnosing and treating AMD.

It’s important to have your eyes, including your macula, checked regularly. To book a consultation with one of our ophthalmologists, find your nearest Vision Eye Institute clinic here.

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