How do practitioners rate the strength of evidence for nutritional supplements in the prevention or treatment of AMD, and which sources of information they consult to create those recommendations has been analyzed in a study published recently in Dove Medical Press journal, Clinical Optometry.Ophthalmologists and optometrists in Sweden recommend the use of nutritional supplements, changes in diet, or smoking cessation to patients at risk of or with early symptoms of AMD.
All Swedish optometrists and ophthalmologists who were registered in the membership databases of their professional organizations were invited to participate in a questionnaire. The cross-sectional study looked into four main aspects: use of nutritional supplements, dietary advice, smoking and eye diseases, and strength of evidence and the sources of information regarding nutritional supplement interventions.
The response rate was, surprisingly, 40.3% for optometrists and 5% for ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists, however, were more likely than optometrists to rely on evidence-based findings from the age-related eye disease studies of AMD regarding treatment with and selection of supplements and to recommend smoking cessation.
Dr Martin also reflects, "More targeted education and implementation strategies may be needed for both optometrists and ophthalmologists.