Home Health and Wellness Poll Respondents Take Supplements for Themselves But Don't Always Share That Information...

Poll Respondents Take Supplements for Themselves But Don’t Always Share That Information With Patients

A vast majority of respondents to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-Up Poll said that they take nutritional supplements. However, far fewer bring it into the discussion with patients.

More than 79% of the respondents said that they take nutritional supplements regularly. Seventeen percent said they do so occasionally,  and three percent said they do so seasonally. Only five percent of respondents said that they do not take nutritional supplements. Note that these are opt-in polls, so it seems likely that the topic would draw more attention from those who are keenly interested in the topic. 


The vast majority of respondents, nearly 86%, said that they take a specific vitamin or vitamin complex regularly. That was followed by 61% who said they take a non-vitamin/mineral product for health and 54% who said they take a multivitamin. Many cited melatonin, probiotics magnesium and antioxidants for ocular health, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Respondents could select more than one response.

Nearly all of those who take a vitamin or nutritional supplement said they do so for overall health and wellness. Here are the other reasons cited: 

Immunity 46%
Anti-aging benefits 42%
Ocular health/dry eye 39%
Energy 37%
Bone health 28%
Heart health 28%
Pain 12%


Others cited issues such as sleep, vitamin D deficiency, enhanced focus, risk reduction for dementia and healthier skin. 


Despite high personal use among respondents, fewer than 40% said they discuss nutrition or supplementation with nearly every patient. Nearly 35% said they do so sometimes, and 17% said they do so when they have the time.

Half of the respondents said that they sell nutritional supplements in their practice and another 12% said that they do not currently but might add that. About 36% said they do not, and two percent said that they formally did but no longer do. 

One of the respondents wrote, “I work in a large clinic in an urban city in the south. I don’t talk about supplements as much because our patient base is sick and poor. I prefer to spend time discussing best economic practices that I know patients can afford and are willing to do to alleviate symptoms from common eye conditions and supplement their health overall.”

Another noted that they did not have a say in the matter of what is sold in the practice. “The nutritional supplements that are sold at the office are inferior and insufficient. I take a totally different regimen of supplements. Most practices don’t offer the top supplements to patients for sale as most doctors don’t understand nutritional supplements for AMD, dry eye, glaucoma and more. 


Read a related story: Patients Want Guidance on Holistic Approach

Have a poll idea? Curious about something? Email us here.

Read other WO Pop-up Poll results here.

Learn more about the Ocular Nutrition and Wellness Society.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images

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