The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Recommendations from the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists on visual fields, vitamins, alpha-1 blockers, intravitreal injections & retinal detachment. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) is the leading medical eye specialist organisation in Australia and New Zealand. RANZCO’s mission is to drive improvements in eye health care through continuing exceptional training, education, research and advocacy.

AREDS-based vitamin supplements only have a proven benefit for patients with certain subtypes of age-related macular degeneration. There is no evidence to prescribe these supplements for other retinal conditions, or for patients with no retinal disease.

Date reviewed: 27 October 2022

The AREDS studies were randomised controlled trials which demonstrated benefit for specific combinations of supplements for certain subtypes of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). They did not show benefit for patients without AMD, and have not been tested for retinal conditions other than AMD. There is no high-level evidence to support the use of dietary supplements for the prevention or treatment of other retinal conditions, assuming a normal diet and the absence of specific vitamin or other nutrient deficiency. Despite this, there is widespread promotion and use of dietary supplements perceived to have benefits for other retinal diseases.

Supporting evidence
  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Archives of Ophthalmology 2001;119(10):1417-36.
  • Chew EY, Clemons TE, Agrón E, Sperduto RD, SanGiovanni JP, Kurinij N, et al. Long-Term Effects of Vitamins C and E, β-Carotene, and Zinc on Age-related Macular Degeneration. Ophthalmology 2013;120(8):1604-11.e4.
  • The 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. Journal of the American Planning Association 2013;309(19):2005-15.
How this list was made How this list was made

RANZCO has undertaken a multi-stage consultation process to ensure that the entire spectrum of medical eye specialists in Australia and New Zealand can contribute to the process of identifying and refining the top five recommendations. The first stage included a survey of fellows to identify possible recommendations, which were then narrowed down and by a dedicated “Choosing Wisely” committee of RANZCO members. A second survey was then sent to all members to provide feedback on the list of five and received a high response rate. Based on the extensive feedback received via the survey, RANZCO’s “Choosing Wisely” committee crafted the final wording of the top five recommendations. Finally, the RANZCO board discussed and approved the recommendations.

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