Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve, and if enough nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots appear in the individual’s field of vision. Unfortunately, people are often unaware of the problem in its early stages, the condition is not reversible, and it may result in blindness. Early detection, along with treatment by your eye doctor, is essential here.
This is a health care system that aims to assist us in harmonizing our body, spirit, and mind. While there is no specific evidence that a direct connection exists between treating glaucoma and certain foods, we can conclude that our general health, along with what we eat and drink, has a positive or negative effect on the disease.
As a precautionary measure, those who have glaucoma are urged to keep their intake of caffeine at a moderate level because of the way in which it may affect their intraocular pressure (IOP). Also, because of what certain studies indicate, it is recommended that they consume small amounts of water throughout the day to avoid increased IOP from drinking large quantities.
Nutrition and Glaucoma
Eating a balanced diet is the best way to ensure that we are ingesting a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals, and you may also want to discuss multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplements with your doctor. Some nutrients that are essential to the health of the eye include copper and zinc, vitamins A, C, and E as beta-carotene, and selenium, a mineral.
Exercise and Glaucoma
Studies indicate that those who have open-angle glaucoma can possibly reduce their IOP by approximately 20% if they exercise three times a week or more. (When they stop exercising for more than 14 days, their IOP increases once again.) Note that exercise seems to have no affect on those with closed-angle glaucoma.) Also, high-impact exercise may even increase IOP in those with the pigmentary variety because, in their situation, it releases more pigment from the iris.
“What is Glaucoma, What Causes Glaucoma, Types of Glaucoma-University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center Ann Arbor MI.” Kellogg Eye Center-University of Michigan-Ann Arbor MI-Ophthalmology. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2010. http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/glaucoma.html.
“Alternative Medicine | Glaucoma Research Foundation.” Glaucoma Research Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2010. http://www.glaucoma.org/treating/alternative_med.php.
“Glaucoma – Lifestyle Changes.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2010. http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_life-style_changes_help_manage_glaucoma_000025_10.htm.