AREDS 2 Study

This is the latest study searching for additional supplements that slow down macular degeneration progression. In the original AREDS Study, researchers found that Vitamin A (beta-carotene), C, E and the metals zinc and copper were helpful in slowing the progression of vision loss. However, there are many more supplements out there that have been theorized to be healthy for the eye. The AREDS2 clinical trial finished in 2012 and the results are only now coming to light. It appears that the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) had little effect on the eye, despite their known cardiac and stroke benefits.  However, the plant pigments lutein and zeaxanthin were found to be helpful and may be a good replacement for beta-carotene (which is contraindicated in smokers because of increased lung cancer risk). AREDS 2 vitamins are beginning to show up on the shelves and are safe for most people. Vitamin packaging can be confusing.  If you are a smoker or have had lung cancer, be sure to read the contents and avoid any vitamins with beta-carotene.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


  1. The results from the AREDS2 study are just now coming out. It appears that the Omega fish oils didn’t have much impact. However, the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin appeared to be a good (safer for smokers) replacement to beta-carotene.

  2. Excellent presentation on eyes of the animal kingdom, thank you.

    I have taken flomax for 12 maybe 16 years. Had high blood pressure (ramapril was prescribed) and recently had cataract surgery. The first eye done with routine cataract surgery has been a big problem. Vision is now 20/60 and eventually diagnosed as dry macular degeneration. The other eye written up as COMPLEX cataract surgery is fine. How can I determine what caused my problem? Could flomax affect arteires also? Did my eye surgeon goof on the first surgery? I now have 3 eye doctors ,
    recommended by each other, What can i realistically do?

  3. Walter … no way to diagnose this online, but a couple of answers to your questions.

    1. Flomax is unlikely the cause of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an aging change to the retina. Flomax can cause floppy-iris syndrome during surgery (which can make the surgery more complex)

    2. Complex versus Routine Surgery – this is really an insurance billing description. When I bill a surgery as “complex” it means that I used some additional hardware in surgery. For example, we often use a spring inside the eye (Malyugan ring) to help with floppy iris syndrome. This spring is expensive and slows the surgery down, so the case is billed as a more “complex” case to offset this cost. Otherwise, the surgery is done the same way as a “routine” surgery.

    3. Did your eye doctor “goof” your first surgery? Highly unlikely. Eye surgery does not cause macular degeneration. Ultimately, these are questions best asked of someone who actually looks at your eye. This kind of question can’t be answered accurately online.


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