Visual impairment is a global epidemic. In developing countries, nutritional deficiency and cataracts continue to be the leading cause of blindness, whereas age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are the leading causes in developed nations.

The World Health Organization has instituted VISION 2020: "The Right to Sight" as a global mission to put an end to worldwide blindness. In industrialized societies, patients, physicians, researchers, nutritionists, and biochemists have been looking toward vitamins and nutrients to prevent AMD, cataracts, and dry eye syndrome (DES).

Nutrients from the AREDS2 study (lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, eicosapentanoic acid [EPA], and docosahexanoic acid [DHA]) set forth by the National Institutes of Health remain the most proven nutritional therapy for reducing the rate of advanced AMD. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, have been found to improve DES in randomized clinical trials.

Conflicting results have been seen with regard to multivitamin supplementation on the prevention of cataract.