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Age-related macular degeneration and senile cataract often dominate discussion of ophthalmic use of vitamin supplements. However research has also been carried out regarding other possible ophthalmic-related benefits of nutritional supplementation. An interesting study by Matthew Paul M.D. and colleagues was presented at the 1995 Annual ASCRS meeting. The presentation: One year follow-up of no-stitch cataract wound healing using vitamin supplementation was published in the 1995 "Best Papers of Sessions" issue of the journal (1).
The study was carried out in 1993-94. 50 cataract/IOL surgical cases were randomly assigned to a control group or a vitamin supplement group. The patients and examiners were both masked as to treatment. Depending on treatment assignment patients received either placebo tablets or 500 mg vitamin C tablets. Tablets were taken each day during the week before and the week after surgery.
There were 2 subgroups of wound types:
Single horizontal suture (S)
2-3 mm scleral tunnel
2-3 mm scleral tunnel
2 mm from limbus
1 mm from limbus
5 X 6 oval optic
5.5 mm round optic
Preoperative and postoperative keratometry was measured and vector analysis used to compute the amount of surgically induced astigmatism at one month and at one year after surgery. At one month there was significantly less against-the-rule astigmatism in the vitamin supplement group compared with placebo, regardless of suturing status (S vs U). This result was statistically significant and continued at one year after surgery.
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