Green tea extracts exhibit anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory actions in different disease conditions. We hypothesized that green tea extract and its catechin constituents ameliorate sodium iodate-induced retinal degeneration in rats by counteracting oxidative stress. In this study, adult Sprague-Dawley rats were intravenously injected with a single dose of sodium iodate. Green tea extract (GTE; Theaphenon-E) or combinations of its catechin constituents, including (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), were administered intra-gastrically before injection. Live imaging analysis using confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography showed a progressive increase of degenerating profile across the retinal surface and decrease in thickness of outer nuclear layer (ONL) at Day-14 of post-injection. These lesions were significantly ameliorated by Theaphenon-E and catechin combinations with EGCG. Catechins with exclusion of EGCG did not show obvious protective effect. Histological analyses confirmed that Theaphenon-E and catechins containing EGCG protect the retina by reducing ONL disruption. Retinal protective effects were associated with reduced expression of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and caspase-3, and suppression of 8-iso-Prostaglandin F2α generation in the retina. In summary, GTE and its catechin constituents are potent anti-oxidants that offer neuroprotection to the outer retinal degeneration after sodium iodate insult, among which EGCG is the most active constituent.