Will herbs help recover vision lost from glaucoma?

Spice asked...

My father has glaucoma and had lost vision totally in one eye. He is taking herbal tabs called "Senior Eye Vision" from Puritan's Pride. What exactly will this tablet do? Will his vision improve in the eye that he has?

Expert Answer

Lylas Mogk, M.D. is an ophthalmologist and director of the Henry Ford Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center in Grosse Pointe and Livonia, Michigan, and the author of Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight.

Neither "vision herbs", "Senior Eye Vision" nor any other herbs, vitamins or prescription medications will restore vision lost from glaucoma. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which we do not know how to regenerate. The vitamins marketed for eyes are for macular degeneration; they do not restore lost vision but in the National Eye Institute's Age Related Eye Disease Study ("AREDS") 30% of those who took the vitamin/mineral combination had a slower progression of macular degeneration. That combination is: Vit C 500mg, Vit E 400mg, Zinc 80mg, Copper 2mg, and beta-carotene 15mg (the beta-carotene only for non-smokers). A new AREDS study is underway to assess fish oil, lutein, and a lesser amount of zinc and beta-carotene; the results will be known in several years. This is all directed toward macular degeneration, not glaucoma.