Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that needs to be diagnosed by an eye care specialist. But even though the eye doctor can recommend several treatment options to help those suffering from glaucoma, you can also take steps on your own to treat (or better yet, prevent) glaucoma.
For such a common but devastating problem, as glaucoma can lead to blindness, it’s good to know that there are natural vision improvement options out there to save your vision!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is actually the largest cause of blindness worldwide. High pressure inside the eye is usually what causes glaucoma, but the condition also includes damage to the optical nerves, which often if significant, results in blindness.
The most common form of glaucoma is known as primary open-angle glaucoma; unfortunately, there are no signs of this disease until it is in advanced stages. The only symptom is gradual vision loss, which can occur without glaucoma being a factor.
A second type of glaucoma, known as acute angel closure glaucoma, is a more aggressive form of glaucoma and will progress more rapidly. Symptoms associated with this type of glaucoma include nausea, eye pain, redness, blurred vision, and colored rings around lights. This type of glaucoma is actually an emergency situation, so do not hesitate to go to the hospital.
Glaucoma is most common in people over 40, however people of any age can develop the disease. The only real way to find out if you have glaucoma is to have regular vision exams at the eye doctor. By having yearly exams, doctors can catch glaucoma before it has a chance to progress further.
Those at a higher risk for glaucoma include individuals over the age of 60, African-Americans, people with a family history of glaucoma, those who have suffered an injury to the eye, and people with other certain medical conditions.
Vitamins for Preventing and Treating Glaucoma
When trying to prevent or treat glaucoma, it is really important to get enough antioxidants. For example, you will want to make sure you are getting enough vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc. All of these nutrients function as antioxidants.
Generally speaking, a great source of antioxidants in general is green tea. Green tea is very good for you, and the added benefit of the antioxidants will help you if you are interested in prevented glaucoma or if you are trying to manage it. Look for green teas that do not have other flavors added in, as these are the more pure types of tea.
Vitamin C is probably one of the easiest vitamins to get. Additionally, vitamin C is water soluble, which means that you cannot get too much of it. Your body will simply pass the excess vitamin C that it does not need. Vitamin C can be conveniently obtained from supplements, tasty candy drops, and foods such as spinach and oranges. You can also eat other types of fruit such as guava and other vegetables such as kale.
Vitamin A is also fairly easy to come by. Add plenty of sweet potatoes, eggs, broccoli, cheese, grapefruit, and greens to your diet, and you are good to go on vitamin A! If you do not like fruits and vegetables or simply cannot get enough in your normal diet, consider taking a supplement. Be sure to consult your doctor first before starting a supplement!
Zinc can be found in lean meat, eggs, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, whole grain products, and oysters. Since many of the foods that have these essential vitamins for eye health overlap with one another, it is important to plan out a healthy diet to ensure you are meeting your daily recommendations on all of these nutrients!
Remember, all vitamins should be taken in their recommended amounts. It is always best to get your nutrients from then natural sources, but if you must take supplements, be careful! It is entirely possible to overdose on vitamins, so be sure you are taking the right dosage for your age and gender.
Other Options to Help Prevent Glaucoma
While glaucoma is a serious disease, you can use the vitamins described above to supplement your treatment, or to simply help prevent glaucoma. In addition to these vitamins, you should check out our 17 recommended vitamins, herbs, and minerals for healthy eyes.
Remember that it is always important to take very good care of your eyes. Eat right, limit time in front of computers and televisions, take breaks when working on computers, and try some eye exercises!
It is also important to protect your eyes from the sun and to rest them properly when they have been strained. Your eye health is your responsibility, so even if you suffer from a severe condition like glaucoma, take charge and work to better your vision!