PURPOSE:: To evaluate the rate of adherence to prescribed nutritional supplementation in patients affected by age-related macular degeneration, in an Italian tertiary referral tertiary center. METHODS:: Patients with age-related macular degeneration, age-related eye disease study Categories 3 and 4, were recruited and underwent an 11-item questionnaire. RESULTS:: The study included a total of 193 patients meeting the age-related eye disease study nutritional supplementation criteria (174 patients with age-related eye disease study Category 4 and 19 with Category 3). Seventy-seven (40%) were taking oral supplementation, 70 of whom (90%) 1 tablet/day. Oral supplementation was recommended by the personal ophthalmologist in 85 patients (44%), including all those currently receiving it. Eight patients of 85 (9.4%) rejected supplementation despite it being recommended, mostly because they were already taking other medicines. Ninety-four patients (48%) claimed they had not received any information from their ophthalmologist. CONCLUSION:: Our data reveal that Italian patients with age-related eye disease study Categories 3 and 4 have a low adherence to nutritional supplementation. In 65% of cases, patients were not adequately informed by their ophthalmologist of the potential benefits of oral supplementation for age-related macular degeneration; indeed, 108 patients (56%) were not even aware such nutritional treatments are available. Ophthalmologists should be aware of the importance of giving advice to persons with age-related macular degeneration regarding the benefits of oral supplements.
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