Blind World


New Over-the-Counter Treatment Slows Progression of Blindness.





June 26, 2003.

Canada NewsWire.




TORONTO, CANADA.


Bausch & Lomb Canada, the eye health company, today announced the launch of a new eye vitamin that effectively combats the leading cause of blindness in Canadians over age 65, and the leading cause of severe vision loss for Canadians over age 50.


Named Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM), this eye vitamin has been clinically proven in a 10-year landmark study by the National Eye Institute (NEI), and is now available over-the-counter in Canada.


Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM) is a vitamin and mineral supplement for the treatment of advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Close to 80,000 Canadians are diagnosed with AMD each year.


"Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration have much to benefit from Bausch & Lomb's Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM)," said Dr. John Jantzi of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. "At the Centre for Sight Enhancement here at the University of Waterloo, we routinely observe the devastating effects of vision loss and its negative impact on quality of life.


Studies show that patients tend to fear vision loss more than any other sense. Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM)'s ability to slow the progression of vision loss is a significant breakthrough for millions of patients with AMD in North America and around the world."


NEI's Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that the high levels of antioxidants and zinc present in Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM) reduce the risk of advanced AMD by approximately 25 percent, and reduce the risk of associated vision loss by about 19 percent.


Released in October 2001, AREDS is the first long-term, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to demonstrate the value of vitamins and mineral supplements in the preservation of eye health and vision.


"Bausch & Lomb, a market leader in ocular vitamins, collaborated with the NEI on this project," said Stephen Bartels, Ph.D., director of Research at Bausch & Lomb. "To be able to say for the first time that this specific formulation of vitamins and minerals can help preserve eye health and vision is good news for the public."


The Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM) supplement evaluated by AREDS researchers contained, per tablet: 113 milligrams of vitamin C; 100 milligrams of vitamin E; 7,160 international units of beta-carotene; 17.4 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide; and 0.4 milligrams of copper as cupric oxide (copper was added to the AREDS formulations containing zinc to prevent copper deficiency, which may be associated with high levels of zinc supplementation). Total dosage per day was two tablets taken twice daily.


Details on AREDS are published in the October 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. For more information about AREDS, or to obtain a brief summary of study results, please visit www.nei.nih.gov/amd.


AMD is caused by the physical disturbance of the center of the retina called the macula. The macula is the part of the retina that provides the most acute and detailed vision for reading, driving, and performing other activities that require sharp, straight-ahead vision.






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