Written by Dr. Matthew T. Boswell
Eat your carrots. Add green leafy vegetables to your diet. Start taking eye vitamins. We have all heard one of these things at some point in our lives, whether it is from our eye doctor, family members, friends, or even things we have read. There are so many options out there; what should I really be taking? Why are we taking these things? How does it really benefit us? As optometrists, I feel we have a unique opportunity to inform patients about incorporating supplements, or nutraceuticals into our diet when it comes to prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here at Lentz Eye Care, our doctors want to lead the way in incorporating the latest clinical evidence into practice; passing on the latest information so our patients can make informed decisions. We will take a look at the newest case report regarding the benefits of taking EyePromise Supplements.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in patients over 55, affecting almost 2 million Americans. That number is expected to double over the next 30 years. At Lentz Eye Care, we want to be at the forefront and take a preventative care approach to this life-changing disease.
As research has shown, low macular pigment levels are associated with a higher risk of developing macular degeneration. What can cause this low pigment level in the macula? Smoking, a poor diet lacking green leafy vegetables, and harmful blue light emitted from the sun, computers, and all digital devices can damage the macular area of the retina, putting stress on the pigment levels there.
How do we measure the pigment level you may ask? One test we offer patients is the QuantifEye device that measures Macular Pigment Optical Density (or MPOD). This measures pigment in the macula and allows our doctors to make recommendations on supplements and lifestyle changes to prevent macular degeneration. At our offices, we recommend EyePromise Supplements, which contain lutein and zeaxanthin that increase your macular pigment to a healthier level to protect your vision. We know that taking EyePromise supplementation containing lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce your risk of AMD, but a recent case report gives us a more in-depth look at just how important dietary supplementation can be to preventing this terrible disease.
A recent case report that was published in January 2017 was designed to investigate the macular pigment density in 521 patients over a 24 month period who were taking EyePromise Restore. We know that taking EyePromise Restore can improve your macular pigment levels, but by how much? What other benefits are there? Lets take a look.
On a scale of 0 to 1, the mean baseline MPOD score of all participants coming in was 0.28. After completing 24 months of EyePromise Restore, an 84% increase was seen to improve the average to a score of 0.51. An impressive 88.3% of all patients had at least a 30% improvement in MPOD score. Along with these improved scores, overall average visual acuity also improved from 20/30-2 to 20/25+2. Also, visual function improved in two categories, with a total of 67.9% of participants reporting a perceived improvement in low light/low contrast situations, as well as reduced glare while night driving. On top of all the benefits listed so far, the most intriguing was about the how hard drusen (early sign of macular degeneration), responded to patients taking EyePromise Restore. Over 98% of patients in the study did not have further deterioration of macular degeneration. Of those 98% - 71% stayed stable, while an incredible 27% showed a reduction in drusen, which was measured through SD-OCT (macular scan) imaging.
Looking at this newest case report regarding taking EyePromise Supplements, I get excited about sharing this information to patients everyday. There are benefits to anyone taking this supplement, but especially patients with a family history of macular degeneration or a low MPOD score. Taking EyePromise Restore, which contains lutein, zeaxanthin, antioxidants, and omega-3 with EPA/DHA, has been shown to not only increase macular pigment density (MPOD scores), but also improve visual acuity, night driving, contrast sensitivity, and vision in low contrast situations, while reducing overall glare sensitivity. Here at Lentz Eye Care, we believe that taking a few moments to talk about these things in the exam room can be worth a lifetime of good health and vision.