AREDS stands for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study and represents a specially formulated vitamin that contains high doses of antioxidants and zinc to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in those in the intermediate stages of the disease. AREDS and a second supplement, AREDS2, are currently the only formulas on the market that have shown to be effective in the treatment of moderate to severe age-related macular degeneration.
At Eye Health Vision Centers, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive care that includes the most innovative and effective treatments available. If you have or suspect you have AMD, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at our Taunton, Fall River, Fairhaven, or Dartmouth, MA or Middletown, RI office. After an eye examination is performed and a diagnosis made, our team of highly skilled ophthalmologists will create a treatment plan that is specific to your needs. If it is decided that you are suffering from age-related macular degeneration and your disease is in the intermediate stages, AREDS may be recommended for daily use.
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Those who are at moderate risk for developing age-related macular degeneration may be ideal candidates for the AREDS supplements. Our team will determine your candidacy for the vitamin by assessing your lifestyle, determining your risk for developing the disease, and understanding the stage of the disease if you have already been diagnosed. Patients who also smoke are not candidates for AREDS but may receive effective and safe results with AREDS2. A member of the Eye Health Vision Centers team will help make these determinations during your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I continue taking my regular multivitamin?
In most cases, your daily multivitamin will not contain the same antioxidants that are found in AREDS or AREDS2 and is thus safe to take. If you believe your daily vitamins contain zinc or want to be sure, feel free to consult with a member of our team to ensure it is safe to continue taking both.
Can I take AREDS if I am a smoker?
The intake of beta-carotene in patients that smoke has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. Patients that smoke or are former smokers should not take AREDS. However, AREDS2 has been formulated with lutein in place of beta-carotene, making it safe for use by patients who smoke.
My AMD is in the early stages, do I need to take AREDS?
There does not appear to be a benefit to taking AREDS in the earliest stages of AMD. The progression of AMD from early to intermediate phases is rather quick and in studies, did not appear to be slowed by AREDS. A regular eye examination at Eye Health Vision Centers can help monitor the progression of your AMD and help you understand when to begin taking AREDS.
What are the side effects of AREDS dietary supplements?
Most patients report only minor side effects after taking AREDS. When side effects are present, they can include breast tenderness, fatigue, diarrhea, joint pain, and blurred vision. Very few patients report severe symptoms.
Although AMD is not curable, with maintenance, routine treatment, and the help of a skilled team of ophthalmologists, you can live a long and happy life while maintaining your vision. Early diagnosis and diligent treatment is key to slowing the progression of AMD, so contact one of our greater South Coast-area facilities today to schedule an appointment with our team. We look forward to creating a treatment plan that works for you and can't wait to exceed your expectations.