Reviews Supplements Transforming Eye Health Through Proven Ocular Nutrition Strategies : Page 1

Transforming Eye Health Through Proven Ocular Nutrition Strategies T he population is aging. More than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, and that will continue for the next 25 years. 1 The number of people diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the United States is expected to more than double from 2.07 million to 5.44 million between 2010 and 2050. 2 It’s unknown if we have enough specialists to manage double the number of patients. No matter what, we’re going to have huge dynamic shifts in optometry and ophthalmology in the United States. We also know that younger patients may be at greater risk than previously considered. The blue light emanating from digital devices could play a significant role in changing patterns of disease development. These highly visible-light-density-type wavelengths could affect the retina and increase the risk of blindness from the early onset or proliferation of AMD. In many cases, once AMD is diagnosed in the first eye, we manage to save the other eye the majority Sponsored by of the time. That means we’re taking a greater interest, following the patient more carefully and looking for key signs. This inevitably prompts the question: Why didn’t we do that the first time around? Why didn’t we try to save that first eye, and start looking for clues at a younger age? One strategy to combat macular degeneration is through nutritional supplementation. AREDS2— published in 2013—is the largest study completed on the impact of nutritional supplements on AMD progression with various cohorts. 3 Since then, other significant studies have helped us further understand the role diet and nutritional supplements play. How can we reduce the risk of disease emergence and progression? We put together an esteemed panel at Vision Expo West 2015 to discuss this issue in a way that will aid clinicians in their management of macular degeneration and understanding of the role of nutritional supplements. — Paul M. Karpecki, OD, FAAO 1 Review of Optometry | February 2016

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