Supplementation Enhances Vision of Pre and Post Cataract Surgery Patients
By Mihir Parikh, MD
|When vision is restored with successful cataract surgery and intraocular lens implantation, patients generally expect to have good vision for the rest of their lives. However, population studies do not necessarily support that assumption. A leading cause of permanent vision loss in the developed world is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and the risk of AMD increases with advancing age. The elevated risk of AMD over time, coupled with longer life expectancy in the developed world, results in more years of life post cataract surgery. Thus, good vision throughout life may not be a foregone conclusion.
The Importance of Macular Function
The Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST) demonstrated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial that supplementing macular pigment in normal subjects with low macular pigment level increases contrast sensitivity.4 All three macular pigments were supplemented at a MZ:L:Z ratio of 10mg:10mg:2mg over a 12-month study period. Furthermore, a second trial in the CREST studies followed non-advanced AMD subjects given an AREDS2 formulation supplemented with meso-zeaxanthin also at the MZ:L:Z 10:10:2-mg ratio compared with subjects given the AREDS 2 formulation without MZ. In this double-blind, randomized, controlled trial over a 2-year period, supplementing with all three macular pigments (10:10:2-mg ratio) naturally found in the macula, the non-advanced AMD patients showed statistically significant improvement in contrast sensitivity, less glare, faster photo-stress recovery, and improved reading speeds.5 The findings of both studies demonstrate that replenishing all three macular pigments improved central vision in normal patients and those with early AMD.
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