PreserVision is used for slowing down the progression of age-related macular degeneration. In research studies on PreserVision use, the vitamin and mineral supplement helped prevent intermediate dry macular degeneration from turning into advanced dry or wet macular degeneration. The medicine is not intended for use in children.
Ocuvite® PreserVision® is a vitamin and mineral supplement used to treat age-related macular degeneration. It is available without a prescription.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD or simply "macular degeneration") is a common eye disease associated with aging. It blurs the sharp, central vision you need for "straight-ahead" activities, such as reading or driving (see Macular Degeneration and Driving). The causes of macular degeneration are unknown. However, there are certain risk factors (such as smoking and obesity) that can increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Macular degeneration may be genetic to some extent (see Macular Degeneration Genetics).
There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. All cases of macular degeneration start out as being dry, but some cases turn into wet macular degeneration, a more severe form of the disease. While there are three different stages of dry macular degeneration, there is only one stage of wet macular degeneration, since all cases of wet macular degeneration are considered to be severe. The stages of dry macular degeneration include:
- Early dry macular degeneration
- Intermediate dry macular degeneration
- Advanced dry macular degeneration.
All cases of wet macular degeneration are considered to be advanced. Your healthcare provider can tell you what stage of macular degeneration you have.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that PreserVision can help prevent intermediate dry macular degeneration from turning into advanced dry or wet macular degeneration. In people who have advanced macular degeneration (wet or dry) in one eye (but not both), PreserVision can also help prevent the condition from occurring in the other eye.
The study did not show that PreserVision provided benefit for those with early dry macular degeneration. However, this could be because no one with early dry macular degeneration progressed to advanced macular degeneration during the study (even if they were not receiving treatment). Many healthcare providers recommend that people with early dry macular degeneration take PreserVision, despite the results of this study.
Even though PreserVision has been shown to help treat macular degeneration, it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the United States, most supplements do not require FDA approval. This is why each bottle of PreserVision has a statement that says that the drug is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All supplements must carry this statement.