The use of herbal supplements for health and wellness is rapidly increasing worldwide.
What does this mean for eye care?
Researchers estimate that more than 15 million Americans today take herbs, vitamins or both, along with their prescription medications.2 These numbers are expected to rise with easy access to unfiltered information from nutraceutical companies and the Internet.
Dr. Dexter's Take
The use of herbal dietary supplements in the US has continued to grow at a very fast rate every year for the past several years. Recent studies have shown that over 15 million Americans today take herbs, vitamins or both, in addition to their prescription medications. Most of these herbal supplements are available over-the-counter and because they are considered food products by the FDA, they are not subject to the same clinical trials and manufacturing standards as prescription medications.
When you complete a thorough case history for your patients, it is important to remember to ask specifically about any use of these supplements, as patients often do not add these herbs and vitamins to their medication list. This information is just as important as their prescription medications as they can have ocular or systemic side effects, just like their prescription medications. The article below, by Review of Optometry, reviews some of the most common herbal dietary supplements, their uses, potential side effects, and tips for clinicians.
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