Diet solution for “floating eyes”?

Dr Emmanuel Ankamah, principal investigator of the FLIES trial, and Prof John Nolan, director of the NRCI and principal investigator of the FLIES trial, are pictured at the Nutrition Research Center Ireland (NRCI, Waterford Institute of Technology). (Photo: Patrick Browne)

Targeted nutrition can dramatically reduce “eyeballs” and the discomfort associated with it. Floaters are spots in your vision like black or gray dots, strings, or cobwebs that drift when you move your eyes.

The new study, published in the journal Translational Vision Science and Technology (TVST), reports the results of the Floater Intervention Study (FLIES), conducted by the Nutrition Research Center Ireland (NRCI, Waterford Institute of Technology), in collaboration with optometrists premises and the Institute of Eye Surgery at UPMC Whitfield Hospital.

According to the National Eye Institute, “almost everyone develops floaters as they age,” but floaters can also occur at a young age and especially in people with myopia. Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes in the vitreous (the gelatinous part of the eye).

Floaters are painless and usually harmless, but they regularly cause significant visual discomfort and, at times, mental stress for sufferers. In some cases, floaters can be associated with retinal tears, a potential vision-threatening complication that requires immediate medical attention.

FOOD INTERVENTION

The FLIES trial is the first double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in patients with primary floaters that demonstrated a reduction in floatant distress as well as improvements in visual function in the active group compared to placebo , after a 6-month dietary intervention with a formulation composed of 125 mg of l-lysine, 40 mg of vitamin C, 26.3 mg of Vitis vinifera extract, 5 mg of zinc and 100 mg of Citrus aurantium.

According to Professor John Nolan, director of the NRCI and principal investigator of the FLIES trial, the study is the first of its kind to examine the benefits of nutritional supplementation for patients with vitreous floaters.

“In particular, a high percentage of patients (77%) taking the active supplement demonstrated a reduction in vitreous floaters and associated improvements in vision-related quality of life were seen in 67% of patients.

“So while not all participants in the active arm of the trial experienced improvements, this work provides clear evidence that this nutritional intervention is effective for some patients,” said Professor Nolan.


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