Illinois retin A gel (RAAG) may be a better option than the FDA-approved retinol, but it’s not a panacea, says Lisa Pascual-Leone, a visual health advocate and consultant with VisionCare.
The drug can’t fix everything that’s wrong with the retina, Pascal-Leones research suggests.
But it’s a good starting point to get started.
A quick glance through the drug’s label will give you a clear picture of what RAAG is and what it doesn’t do.
It’s made from a synthetic form of vitamin A called arachidonate that’s also found in olive oil.
It’s also a commonly used ingredient in cosmetic products like lotions, scrubs and lipsticks.
The FDA says the drug is safe for use in people who already have good eyesight.
But the company’s website warns: If you have difficulty seeing well, or if you’re seeing problems with your vision, RAAGs may be indicated.
A second ingredient, vitamin C, is also added to the product.
While vitamin C may help to keep the retina working properly, it’s also thought to be toxic and potentially dangerous.
The FDA warns that there is a risk of cancer in people exposed to high levels of vitamin C. “A number of companies have tried to capitalize on the FDA’s endorsement of RAAgs for retinitis pigmentosa by adding a small amount of vitamin E, which can be toxic to the retina,” says Pascala-Leoni.
In a few cases, the drug can also help people with vision loss or chronic retinopathy, which causes the retina to shrink.
Pascal leone has found RAAg to be particularly helpful for people with retinoblastoma, a rare, incurable eye disease that affects more than 20,000 people in the United States.
People with the disease typically don’t see much at all, but they are also more likely to develop a range of other health issues, including cancer and blindness.
They also can develop permanent damage to their optic nerve, which allows them to lose vision.
Retinoblasts are found in the retina and form a protective covering that helps protect the retina from damage caused by light.
RAAGG works to keep these protective layers of cells active, and it also helps prevent damage to the nerve cells that control vision.
Pascale said RAAGAG works in about half the cases of her patients who have retinoblasts, and she says it has been effective in reducing the number of retinobe cells.
The most common side effects of RaaG include nausea, vomiting and blurred vision.
If you’re looking for a drug that can help treat your vision loss, Parson says to be sure you have enough vision to see well.
“You want to have a good enough lens to see what’s there,” he says.
Some patients also benefit from using a retinal detachment test, where the doctor uses a laser to see if your vision has become too blurry or if your retinas ability to clear light has been compromised.
While the drug doesn’t address everything that causes retinal degeneration, Paccatelli says it’s one of the best ways to assess whether it’s working.
“If you have this thing, you’ve got to get it checked out,” he explains.
To learn more about the drug, visit VisionCare’s website.
You can also call 800-526-2521 or visit www.visioncare.org to learn more.
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