C55523: Nutrition and AMD part 2 – advice to patients

In the second of our series looking at how nutrition may influence the progress of macular degeneration, Dr Rebekah Stevens and Dr Hannah Bartlett look at the development of a strategy to tailor advice to each patient

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness registration in the western world.1 As mentioned in part one of this series, a rapidly ageing population has raised the priority of reducing the risk for age-related eye diseases; the Macular Society has recently called for collaboration so that more AMD research is conducted and additional help is given to those with the condition.

Our research shows that patients with AMD would appreciate greater clarity from eye care professionals regarding their diet and nutritional supplementation. Patients reported that eye care practitioners were not giving consistent advice regarding nutrition, and reported confusion as to what advice, if any, to follow.2 However, there are currently no clear-cut guidelines for practitioners to follow when advising patients about nutrition. Practitioners are often unsure, or lack confidence, when giving advice outside of their area of expertise, even when this advice is consistent with general health advice.3

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