Q & A on Ocular Supplements | Dr. Ganly Answers Eyewear Questions
Do I Need To Take Ocular Supplements?
To be as complete as possible, the answer to this question could take pages. But the short answer is a resounding YES!
More specifically, there are three pigments in our macula (lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin). These important pigments absorb high energy short-wavelengths and act as our body’s anti-oxidants to prevent retinal damage and blindness from macular degeneration. Since our body does not make these pigments on their own, we need to absorb them from our diet and this can be very challenging to do. These pigments also can be easily measured and it is not uncommon to find patients who are deficient, which puts them at risk.
The evidence is very clear that patients who have higher levels of these carotenoids have many, many benefits. Besides reducing your risk for blindness from macular degeneration, the studies have also shown us that they improve visual function in many other ways as well. These studies have proven that taking the supplements can reduce glare, reduce dark adaption time (the time it takes to see clearly when going from a bright environment to a dark one), improve contrast and improve reaction time. These benefits have therefore been shown to improve sports vision. Finally, maybe one of the most important findings is that they have been proven to increase cognitive ability as well as reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
For these reasons, I recommend that ALL patients take a good quality supplement that includes the three carotenoids listed above for all of these benefits.