Announcement Board


MARCH 20, 2020


We are sorry to announce our clinic will be closed to limited hours seeing only urgent and emergent patients.  

If you have a question, please leave a voicemail on our voicemail system and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you have an OCULAR EMERGENCY, please call our answering service at:


Please note, this is for emergencies only, not for routine or complete eye exams. 

If you have glasses or contacts that need to be picked up, you will receive a call from our office when they are ready to be picked up.

We will continue to keep you updated with our hours once we can resume to normal order.

Thank you for choosing us for your ophthalmic needs. We look forward to seeing you soon! 


Bags Under the Eyes

December 11, 2018

Written By: Kierstan Boyd

Reviewed By: Kendra Denise DeAngelis

Nov. 29, 2018

What we often call “bags under our eyes” is actually sagging skin under the eyes. It is a common complaint, and one that often accompanies the aging process.

What Causes Bags Under the Eyes?

As we grow older, tissues around the eye gradually weaken and sag. This loss of skin tone allows fat to shift forward into the lower eyelids, making them look puffy and swollen. Fluid can also pool in this area and contribute to the puffy appearance.

Shadows may also appear under the eyes. They may be cast by swollen, puffy eyelids due to aging.

Other factors can contribute to under-eye bags, including:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Allergies
  • Retaining fluid (often after waking up, or after eating salty food)
  • Inheriting this condition (it can run in families)

While having bags or shadows under your eyes may not look especially attractive, it is usually harmless. However, if swelling of the eye area is painful, itchy, red or does not go away, see your ophthalmologist.

What Can You Do for Under-Eye Bags?

Home remedies for under-eye bags

Certain home remedies can help lessen or eliminate the puffiness of under-eye bags and the appearance of shadows. Below are some tips:

  • Use a cool compress on your eyes. Wet a clean washcloth with cool water. Place the damp washcloth around your eyes for a few minutes, applying very gentle pressure. Do this while sitting upright.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Most experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep daily.
  • Sleep with your head raised slightly. This can help keep fluid from settling around your eyes during sleep. Prop up the head of your bed a few inches, or simply add an extra pillow.
  • Try to avoid drinking fluids before bed, and limit salt in your diet. That can help reduce fluid retention overnight that can lead to bags under your eyes.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can contribute to faster collagen loss. This makes the delicate skin under your eyes even thinner, leading to more visible blood vessels.
  • Try to reduce your allergy symptoms. Avoid the things that cause your allergies whenever you can. Talk to your doctor about allergy medications.
  • Use cosmetics. Try using makeup concealer to cover shadows under your eyes. 

Skin therapies for under-eye bags

There are a number of skin treatments to reduce under-eye puffiness. These include laser resurfacing, chemical peels and fillers. These treatments are designed to tighten skin, improve its tone, and reduce the appearance of bags under the eyes. Talk with your ophthalmologist if you want to learn more about these treatment options.

Eyelid surgery for under-eye bags

A type of eyelid surgery called blepharoplasty may help eliminate bags under the eyes, depending on their cause. During this outpatient procedure, the eye surgeon creates an incision under the lashes or inside the lower lid. The surgeon removes excess fat through the incision and sometimes removes extra skin, then closes the incisions with tiny stitches.

In addition to correcting bags under eyes, blepharoplasty can also repair baggy or puffy upper eyelids.

Talk with your ophthalmologist about the benefits, risks and side effects of eyelid surgery for under-eye bag removal.

A woman looks in a mirror at the dark circles under her eyes.

Dark Circles vs. Shadows Under the Eyes

Have you ever looked in the mirror after a long, sleepless night and discovered dark circles under your eyes? Chances are you probably saw shadows cast by puffy eyelids. Or those dark areas may be hollows under your eyes that develop as a normal part of aging. Shadows are not the same thing as true under-eye dark circles.

Here are some facts about dark circles under the eyes:

  • While anyone can have dark under-eye circles, elderly people are more likely to have it. Thanks to the loss of fat and collagen and thinning skin that comes with aging, the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes become more obvious.
  • Dark under-eye circles are often inherited (called periorbital hyperpigmentation).
  • People from ethnic groups whose skin tones are darker than white ethnic groups are more likely to have dark circles under their eyes.
  • Hay fever and allergies can cause under-eye dark circles.
  • For some people, exposure to the sun can make their body produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can lead to dark circles under the eyes.


Why Get an Eye Exam? To Spot the Signs You Can’t See

December 3rd, 2018

Written By: Beatrice Shelton
Oct. 11, 2016

As adults age, many will develop eye diseases that could become debilitating if not treated in time. But people can protect themselves by having eye exams that can spot early and often-hidden signs of eye disease.

Watch this animated video to learn how. Then, share it with your friends and loved ones so they can take steps to care for their vision, too.

If you’re age 65 or older and haven’t seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years, the Academy wants to help get you checked. Learn how you may qualify for a no-cost eye exam through EyeCare America.








Sustaining Eye health

Written by: Beatrice Shelton

College students often have a lot on their plates. But a busy academic life is no excuse to take shortcuts with eye health. Many potential eye problems can strike anyone, and college students and other young adults should be especially careful about a few things related to their vision.

Be Aware Around Screens

Digital eye strain is real and can make you really uncomfortable. Staring at any device for too long can make your eyes feel dry and tired, which can cause blurred vision. The reason is people tend to blink much less when using digital screen devices. Remember to give your eyes frequent breaks from computers, phones and tablets.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following the 20-20-20 rule when using these devices: For every 20 minutes looking at a digital screen, look 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds to rest the eyes.

Other good strategies to reduce eye strain include:

  • Alternate reading an e-book with a paper book.
  • Look up and out the window every two chapters.
  • Avoid using a computer outside or in brightly lit areas, because the glare on the screen can create strain.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen so that it feels comfortable to you.
  • Use good posture when using a computer and when reading.

Keep Your Contacts Clean

If you’re a contact lens wearer, practice good hygiene consistently to prevent eye infections. A recent study showed that most contact lens wearers admit to at least one bad hygiene habit that puts them at risk for eye infections. To avoid an eye infection from contact lenses, follow these guidelines:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses — every time.
  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, unless prescribed by your eye doctor.
  • Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses and remove them before swimming or using a hot tub.
  • Don’t top off solution. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution. Never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least every three months. Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution (never water) and empty and dry with a clean tissue paper. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
  • Give your eyes a rest. The cornea, the transparent tissue covering each eye, gets deprived of oxygen from being covered up all day by a contact lens. Starved for air, the cornea starts growing new blood vessels to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Over-wearing contact lenses can lead to problems such as eye inflammation and lipid deposits in the cornea. These problems can affect vision. Over-wearing can also increase the risk of infection.
  • Occasional contact lens wearers: Disinfect the night before planned wear. Disinfecting solutions can become less effective over time, leading to microbial overgrowth in the case and on the lens.

Don’t Share Makeup

Never, ever share makeup. It seems harmless, but sharing makeup is a surefire way to spread viral infections, like pink eye (conjunctivitis). Stick to your own makeup and throw it away after three months. If you develop an eye infection, immediately toss your eye makeup.

Wear the Right Eye Protection for Your Activities

If you play sports, whether for your school or just a casual pickup game, protect your eyes from injuries with sports eyewear. Many sports have safety glasses designed specifically for players of that sport. About 30,000 people in the United States go to emergency departments each year because of sports-related eye injuries. Most of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the right protective eyewear.

Keep Your Body Healthy to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone – not just college students. Exercising, eating right and not smoking are three of the best investments you can make in your vision. Making healthy choices can help reduce the risk of getting some eye diseases that become more common with age, such as age-related macular degenerationcataractsdiabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.

Sleep is important for everyone’s overall health. Lack of sleep can take a toll on nearly every part of your life. Research links sleep deprivation to car accidents, poor performance on the job, memory problems and mood disorders. Recent studies also suggest sleep disorders may contribute to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. A common side effect associated with lack of sleep is eye spasms. While spasms won’t damage your eye, they can be annoying and disruptive. Dry eye may also be worse if you’re not getting enough sleep.

Immediate Choices, Lifelong Effects

Decisions that young adults make can influence their risk of developing eye disease later in life. Wearing sunglasses reduces your exposure to UV rays, which can reduce your chance of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and some eye cancers. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and diabetic retinopathy — which can be blinding. Deciding not to smoke can also cut your risk of developing macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older adults.

Get Scheduled Checkups

If you have an increased risk of glaucoma, ask your doctor how often you should have regular eye exams to check for this potentially blinding eye disease. Those at higher risk of glaucoma include people of African descent, people with diabetes and those with a family history of glaucoma, like a parent or sibling with glaucoma.

In some cases, eye exams also can be life-saving. Some health conditions can be visible in the eyes. Illnesses that can be detected during an eye exam include:

  • Potential stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Some cancers


May 31, 2018

Written by Joana Jacob

In baseball, eye safety often takes a hit

March 26th, 2018

Written By: Kierstan Boyd

For many kids and adults, the return of spring means it’s time to gather up bats, gloves and helmets and head for the baseball diamond. But too many people forget to include an important piece of gear: protective eyewear.

According to the National Eye Institute, baseball is a leading cause of eye injuries among children 14 years old and younger who play sports in the U.S. In fact, eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children, accounting for an estimated 100,000 emergency room and doctor visits each year.

“It’s a sad fact that nine out of 10 kids who have suffered an eye injury could have prevented it just by wearing proper eye protection,” says Kendra DeAngelis, MD, an oculoplastic surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee. “Unfortunately, many youth and adult sports leagues do not require players to wear protective eyewear.”

Even Major League baseball players aren’t required to wear eye protection. Yet, reports of eye injuries in the big leagues show they aren’t immune to the devastating effects of a flying baseball or bat. In just the past two seasons alone, players from the Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies have suffered serious eye injuries.

Closeup of a boy's face, with a bruised cheek and one eye swollen shut after being hit with a baseball.

A child with an eye injury from having a baseball hit his face

Potential eye injuries from baseball include:

“People often think that wearing their regular eyeglassesor sunglasses offers some protection from a baseball hit, but this is false,” says Dr. DeAngelis. “The truth is that non-protective eyewear can shatter upon impact, causing more damage to your eye.”

Before taking the field, take the proper steps to keep your eyes safe:

  • If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, ask your eye doctor about prescription protective sports eyewear. There are certified helmets with attached safety glasses for baseball batters and base runners; fielders can get certified protective eyewear.
  • Sports safety glasses must meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standards. Eyewear designed to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) industrial standards does not meet the safety standards for sports eye protection.
  • All prescription sports glasses should be made from polycarbonate material because it resists shattering and provides UV (ultraviolet light) protection. If the protective lenses have turned yellow over time, have them replaced, as the polycarbonate material may have weakened with age.
  • Sports goggles provide the best eye protection. However, they may not fit narrow faces well. In this case, the best option is certified sports glasses with 3-millimeter-thick polycarbonate lenses.
  • Any player who has vision loss in one eye should always wear eye doctor-recommended protective eyewear to protect their remaining vision.

Eye Pressure Testing

March 22, 2018

Written By: Kierstan Boyd
Reviewed By: J Kevin McKinney MD

Our eyes constantly make a fluid called aqueous humor. As new aqueous flows into your eye, the same amount should drain out through a tiny drainage area. This process keeps pressure in your eye (called intraocular pressure or IOP) stable. But if the drain is not working properly, fluid builds up. Pressure inside the eye rises, damaging the optic nerve. This is often how glaucoma develops.

As part of a complete eye exam, your ophthalmologist or an assistant will measure your eye pressure. This pressure check is called tonometry.

In the past, you may have had an eye pressure test using a puff of air. Now most ophthalmologists use a more accurate device that measures pressure by direct contact with the eye.

How Is Eye Pressure Measured?

  • Eye drops are put in your eyes to numb them.
  • Then the doctor or assistant gently touches the front surface of your eye with a device that glows with a blue light. Other times a different handheld instrument is used.
  • Both methods apply a small amount of pressure to the eye.
  • This allows your ophthalmologist to measure the pressure inside each eye.
  • During this test, it is very helpful to relax and breathe normally.

Each person’s eye pressure is different, and there is no single correct pressure for everyone. Generally, the range for normal pressure is between 10 and 21 mmHg (“mmHg” means “millimeters of mercury,” a scale used to record eye pressure).

Most people who have glaucoma will have an eye pressure higher than 21 mmHg. However, some people with pressures between 10 and 21 mmHg may have glaucoma.

Your ophthalmologist will determine the eye pressure range that is healthy specifically for you.


Remedies to Reduce Dry Eye SymptomS

March 12th, 2018

Written By: Kierstan Boyd
Reviewed By: Devin A Harrison MD
Feb. 06, 2018

At some point, nearly everyone experiences that gritty, uncomfortable feeling when their eyes become too dry. But for some people, dry eye is more than a temporary annoyance. It is an ongoing problem called ocular surface disease that demands constant management.

Ocular surface disease is a very common disorder. It happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the right quality of tears. Tears, which are made from three separate layers, are vital for keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable.

Anyone can have ocular surface disease, though it is more common among women, particularly after menopause.

Dry eye and your environment

Where you live may play a role in developing dry eyes. For example, people who live in major cities with high levels of air pollution may be more likely than those in areas with less air pollution to suffer dry eye symptoms. A study of U.S. military veterans found people in and around Chicago and New York City were three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome compared to people in areas with relatively little air pollution.

The same study also showed that people who live in higher-altitude zip codes, where the air is typically drier, are 13 percent more likely to develop dry eye than people at lower altitudes.

Based on these study findings, eye doctors recommend that dry eye sufferers who live in smoggy cities or very dry climates use specific tactics to help manage and control their symptoms.

Specifically, they suggest:

  • using a high-quality air filter at home in major cities or other areas with a lot of air pollution, and
  • using a humidifier in the home to add moisture to dry air.

Here are some other ways you can minimize the impact of your environment on your dry eye symptoms:

Protect your eyes in windy areas

A man is wearing winter clothes and wraparound sunglasses.

If you are often in a windy area, wear a pair of wraparound sunglasses to reduce the chance of wind blowing directly into your eyes and drying them out. Remember that fans and hair dryers can make your eyes dry, so limit your exposure to them.

Avoid cigarette smoke

A man is smoking a cigarette and bothered by smoke in his eyes.

Are you around cigarette smoke often, or do you smoke? There are already a lot of good reasons not to smoke or be exposed to second-hand smoke, but keep in mind that cigarette smoke can irritate your dry eyes. Smoking can also increase your risk of developing dry eye in the first place. Stay away from smoke.

No matter where you live, the following tips can help you manage your dry eye symptoms:

Rest your eyes often and blink

A man is watching TV in a dark room

Working at a computer, reading or watching television can dry your eyes out. This is because you don’t blink as often as you normally do. Take breaks every 10 minutes, give your eyes a rest and try to blink more frequently to help your eyes regain some of the moisture they’ve lost.

Try artificial tears

Woman putting an eye drop in her eye

Artificial tears are available without a prescription. Use them as often as you need to, but if you find yourself using them more than once every two hours, you may want to use tears that are preservative-free. Lubricating gels can also help. Because they are thicker and blur your vision, you should use them at bedtime.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help

A woman is holding a dietary supplement pill and is about to put it in her mouth.

Some people find relief from their dry eye symptoms by supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids, found naturally in foods like oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies) and flax seeds. Ask your ophthalmologist if you should take supplements of omega-3 fatty acids and, if so, how much and in what form.

Care for your eyelids to help improve tear quality

Woman drying her face with a clean white towel.

Putting warm compresses on your eyes can help release oil in your eyelids’ glands, helping to improve the quality of your tears. Also, wash your eyelids carefully with a clean washcloth and soap and warm water, rinsing your eyes thoroughly afterward.

If you are struggling to manage the dry eye symptoms of ocular surface disease, talk with your ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment for you.


Eyelash Extension Facts and Safety

March 8th, 2018

Written By: Reena Mukamal
Reviewed By: Rebecca J Taylor MD
Feb. 23, 2018

People are going to new lengths to make their eyes look special. Eyelash extensions, professionally applied on natural lashes with a semi-permanent glue, are growing in popularity. Ophthalmologists say this cosmetic treatment can be safe, as long as consumers take precautions to protect themselves.

What Are Eyelash Extensions?

There are three types of lash extensions: synthetic, silk and mink. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Lash extensions are usually applied by a technician in a beauty salon, using tweezers and a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue. The procedure can take as long as two hours, and your eyes should remain closed for the duration of the application. The faux lashes typically last three to four weeks, falling off as your natural lashes shed.

Are Lash Extensions and Glue Safe for Eyes?

“To keep the eyes safe, lashes should be applied by an experienced aesthetician in a sanitary setting, with chemicals that are safe for your skin,” says Rebecca J. Taylor, MD, a Nashville ophthalmologist and clinical spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The procedure does come with risks, namely: trauma to or infection of the eyelid or cornea; allergic reaction to the glue; and permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes.

Infection can come from inadequate hygiene in the shop or damage to the eye during application. “Remember that a sharp object is being used very close to your eye,” Dr. Taylor says.

Ingredients in the glue can cause allergic reactions. In the past, some of these glues have contained the allergen formaldehyde. An allergic reaction can trigger pain, itching, redness and swelling. It may even temporarily interfere with vision. Eyelash extensions and glue are not currently regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Rubbing, tugging or pulling can fracture your natural lashes, and even cause permanent damage to the eyelash follicle. Although rare, extensions can also lead to fibers getting stuck under the eye tissue, which may require surgical removal.

Aesthetician with tweezers applying eyelash extensions to a woman laying down, with her eyes closed.

How to Do Eyelash Extensions the Right Way

Be sure to look carefully at the shop or salon, the aesthetician and the ingredients of the products before going ahead with eyelash extensions. Here are a few things to look for and ask about:

  • Does the salon have a good reputation? How long have they been in business, and do they practice good hygiene? Read reviews and look at before-and-after photos from other customers.
  • What training, certification, and experience does the aesthetician have in lash extensions?
  • Ask for the glue’s ingredient list and check it for allergens. Confirm the expiration date has not passed. Request a spot test on the inside of your wrist before the glue is applied to your eyes.

If you have an allergic reaction to extensions, do not try to remove them yourself, as this could damage your eyes. Do not try to treat the reaction on your own. Doing so incorrectly may make the symptoms last much longer. Instead, go see an ophthalmologist immediately.


Ophthalmologists Say 90 Percent of Work-Related Eye Injuries Can be Avoided by Wearing Eye Protection

March 1st, 2018

On-the-job safety goes well beyond avoiding slips, falls, and heavy lifting. Caring for your eyes should be a high priority and part of an overall workplace wellness routine. Each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment[1]. However, 90 percent of these accidents can be avoided by wearing eye protection[2]. As part of an ongoing effort to stress the importance of workplace eye wellness, Royo Eye and Laser Center and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, during the month of March, is encouraging the public to do right by their eyes and wear appropriate eye protection.


Workplace eye injuries cost more than $300 million a year in lost productivity, treatment, and compensation[3]. These injuries range from simple eye strain to trauma, which may lead to permanent damage, vision loss, and blindness. This is particularly true for workers in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Approximately, 40 percent of eye injuries in the workplace happen in these three industries[4].

If an eye injury does occur, an individual should seek care from an ophthalmologist — a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions — or go to an emergency room for immediate care.

Caring for your eyes on the job should not be limited to those who do physical labor, however. People who spend long hours working on a computer can experience eye discomfort. Focusing on small font type for hours on end can cause eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Staring at screens for long periods can also leave eyes parched and red, causing eyes to become dry from lack of blinking. This happens frequently as computer screens or other digital displays reduce a person’s blink rate by as much as 50 percent[5].

The Academy provides tips to help avoid workplace eye injury or strain:

  • Wear protective eyewear: Ensure that your eye protection is appropriate for the type of hazard that may be present in your workplace, such flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, intense light, and heat. Your eyewear must be American National Standards Institute ANSI-approved and OSHA compliant. You must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shield or helmet if you are near hazardous radiation welding, chemicals, lasers or fiber optics.


  • Position your computer 25 inches away: If you are working on a desktop computer, try placing the monitor at an arm’s length away from your face. You may need to adjust the font size to appear larger at that distance.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Eye strain and dry eye occur after long, continuous periods of viewing digital screens up close. To help alleviate this, take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking at a distance allows your eyes to relax and return to a regular rate of blinking again. Normally, people blink about 14 times a minute[6] and with every blink, your eyes are lubricated with fluid that contains moisturizing elements, including oil.


  • Reduce glare on your smartphone and digital screen: While many new phones and digital devices have glass screens with excellent picture quality, they also produce a strong glare that can aggravate the eyes. If you use a glass screen device, adjust the low light filter setting to lower screen brightness or use a matte filter to reduce eye strain.


  • Adjust environmental lighting at your work: If your computer screen is brighter than your office surroundings, your eyes need to work harder to see. You can reduce eye strain by adjusting the lighting in your surroundings.


“It takes only a few seconds to protect yourself from eye related issues that can cause vision problems,” said Brenda Pagán-Durán, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating eye wellness into your daily routine; whether it’s simply adjusting the setting on your computer monitor, or wearing appropriate protection to avoid serious eye injury. This is truly an ounce of prevention that can safeguard your vision.”

For more eye safety tips, visit eye injury prevention at work. For information on computers and eye strain in the workplace, visit







Can Vitamins Protect Against Blue Light Damage?

February 13th, 2018

Written By: Beatrice Shelton
Reviewed By: Emily Y Chew MD

As digital devices have taken over our lives, some companies are marketing vitamins with claims that their product can protect the eye against high-energy blue light emitted from electronics. Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – want people to know that there is no proven benefit in using “eye vitamin” supplements to protect the eyes from blue light damage, and no conclusive evidence suggesting vitamins improve vision.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) treats vitamin supplements differently than drugs. The FDA does not review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. The law does not require the manufacturer or the seller prove that the claim is accurate or truthful before it appears on the product.

While it’s true that staring at a screen for hours at a time does expose you to blue light from your device, there is no evidence it damages your eyes. If you feel discomfort after looking at screens, it’s likely you are experiencing digital eyestrain.

But, there is mounting evidence that blue light does appear to affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. During the day, blue light wakes us up and stimulates us. But too much blue light exposure late at night from your phone, tablet or computer can make it harder to get to sleep.

Vitamins and Eye Disease

There is one devastating eye disease proven to benefit from vitamin supplements – age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Emily Chew, MD, helped lead a landmark study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). She and her colleagues wanted to see if certain vitamin combinations could help patients with AMD keep their vision. They found that the vitamin formulation they developed can protect against vision loss. But only in some patients. Vitamins can delay progression of advanced AMD and help you keep your vision longer if you have intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in one eye. The study showed no benefit in patients with early AMD.

What is in the vitamin formula? Vitamin C, 500 mg; vitamin E, 400 IU; zinc, 80 mg; copper, 2 mg; lutein, 10 mg; and zeaxanthin, 2 mg.

Dr. Chew says that simply eating a well-balanced diet can support eye health. Obesity is linked to increased chances of developing cataract, glaucoma, AMD and diabetic retinopathy. But eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-packed foods, such as salmon and nuts, may reduce the risk of these eye diseases.

Research also suggests that patients who ate fresh fish, an important source of omega-3s, were at lower risk of developing AMD. However, studies comparing patients who took omega-3 supplements with those who did not, showed no reduction in AMD risk. These outcomes suggest that critical ingredients in food cannot be equally matched in oral supplements.

Before taking a vitamin supplement, consider these points from the FDA:

  • Let your health care professional help you distinguish between reliable and questionable information.
  • Contact the manufacturer for information about the product you intend to use.
  • Some supplement ingredients, including nutrients and plant components, can be toxic. Some ingredients and products can be harmful when consumed in high amounts or taken over a long period of time. Some ingredients used in combination with certain other drugs, substances or foods can also be harmful.
  • Do not self-diagnose any health condition. Work with health care professionals to determine how best to achieve optimal health.
  • Do not substitute a dietary supplement for a prescription medicine or therapy, or for the variety of foods important to a healthful diet.
  • Do not assume that the term “natural” in relation to a product ensures that the product is wholesome or safe.
  • Be wary of hype and headlines. Sound health advice is generally based upon research over time, not a single study.
  • Learn to spot false claims. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.