What is Glaucoma?
It has been estimated that by 2020, there will be 80 million people in the world suffering from glaucoma unless improved screening and more effective treatment options become feasible.
But what exactly is glaucoma?
A few different diseases come under the broad term of “glaucoma” which share these common
- Optic nerve damage.
- Visual field loss.
- Retinal cell damage and death.
These diseases cause irreversible damage to vision and often show up without any major symptoms, which is why it is highly advised for people over the age of 40 with a family history of the disease to get annual eye check-ups to detect it in its early stages before any significant damage is done.
There are two main types of glaucoma – chronic (Open Angle) and acute (narrow-angle). Out of the two, acute glaucoma can develop suddenly and is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. Fortunately, these type of cases represents only about 10% of all
glaucoma cases worldwide.
For the majority of glaucoma cases, treatment may involve eye drops, oral medication, or both. In addition, surgery may be used as a part of the treatment too. In addition to conventional treatment, there are certain supplements that can also help in
preventing further damage.
Glaucoma Supplements: Antioxidants
- Antioxidants are substances that remove oxidizing agents which are potentially damaging and studies have proven antioxidants help in mitigating risk factors for glaucoma.
- A powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) is found in green tea and has shown to have a positive impact on the health of retinal cells in patients fighting glaucoma.
- Vitamin C is another antioxidant that can help glaucoma patients, as it is used in the formation of collagen, which provides strength and structure to tissues in the body and the eye. Tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage are rich in vitamin C.
- Certain vitamins are also absolutely necessary for eyes like vitamin A, which facilitates the formation of rhodopsin, a compound in retinal cells that allow us to see properly in low light. A major symptom of vitamin A deficiency is dry and itchy eyes. Green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, and butter are good sources of the vitamin.
Glaucoma Supplements: Nutrients
- Some nutrients have been found to target the underlying mechanisms of glaucoma. These natural ingredients can also counteract the overall damage caused by the disease.
- Various studies have proven that French maritime pine bark and bilberry have positive effects on the treatment of glaucoma by acting on a molecular level to decrease the production of aqueous humor, and improve the structure and function of blood vessels while decreasing the resistance to fluid drainage.
Glaucoma Supplements: Others
- Magnesium is a mineral that has also shown potential benefits for patients suffering from glaucoma.
- Melatonin, a hormone made by the pineal gland, is also known to have potentially positive effects on people suffering from the disease.
- Rutin is a plant pigment that is found in certain fruits and vegetables like buckwheat and eucalyptus macrorhyncha. It is known to lower eye pressure when used in conjunctionwith glaucoma medication.
Ask Your Eye Doctor Before Doing Anything