There’s pretty much a vitamin for everything. Vitamin A for the immune system, D for bone health and K for calcium. But what about I vitamins or rather…eye vitamins.

QUESTION: 2 Wants to Know viewer Debbie Watson asked us, “Over the counter eye vitamins, helpful or just a waste of money?”

PROCESS: To verify, we reached out to Dr. Neil Hutto, Doctor of Optometry with Triad Eye Associates.

First things first, eye vitamins cannot prevent vision problems like being near or farsighted.

“You’re not going to eliminate the dependence on glasses or contact lenses. So, that person that is struggling to read or drive without their glasses, the multivitamins is not going to help with that,” explained Hutto.

But, two types of supplements can help with eye health problems. Omega 3’s and AREDS.

Omega 3s, if taken every day, can help reduce the need to use artificial tears. Then, there’s AREDS or age related eye disease vitamins.

“They are used to slow the progression or halt the progression of dry macular degeneration,” explained the doctor.

If you’ve never heard of dry macular degeneration, let’s break it down. The macular is the part of your retina which allows you to focus. As we age, the macular sometimes weakens.

Hutto said, “It’s almost like looking at the sun and seeing that spot that follows you around that’s how people with advance macular degeneration see all the time.”

AREDS don’t prevent or cure macular degeneration.

“They are used to slow the progression or halt the progression of dry macular degeneration.”

So, it’s verified, supplements can be helpful for dry eyes or macular degeneration. But they will not stop, cure or prevent vision related problems. And just to add this note, Hutto said a healthy diet and sunglasses have shown to be just as effective as any over the counter eye vitamin or supplement.


Neil Hutto, Doctor of Optometry, Triad Eye Associates


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