Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) represents the leading cause of blindness in the Western world. Risk factors related to oxidative mechanisms include sunlight exposure, smoking, and to some extent genetics. Several models demonstrate the protective effect of antioxidants in this condition. AREDS and AREDS2 represent 2 of the largest prospective randomized clinical trials studying the effects of antioxidants on the eye, especially the development of lenticular opacity and the development and progression of AMD. No data confirmed a role for oral supplements in the development of cataract; however, both trials supported the role of antioxidants in limiting the progression of AMD in high-risk patients. See BCSC Section 12, Retina and Vitreous, for further discussion of AREDS.
Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Research Group. Lutein + zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids for age-related macular degeneration: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005–2015.
Shaw PX, Stiles T, Douglas C, et al. Oxidative stress, innate immunity, and age-related macular degeneration. AIMS Mol Sci. 2016;3(2):196–221.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 2 - Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.