As we get older, there is a myriad of diseases we have to worry about that could affect any area of our bodies. That’s why we go to the doctor, get regular lab work done, and pay attention to how our body is feeling. The same should go for our eyes, of course. As we age, we are more susceptible to conditions like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. One natural way to address all of these issues is to turn to dietary supplements. So, are there any eye vitamins for glaucoma we can add to our regimen?
Before we get into the specifics of supplementation, it’s important to understand one thing. 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, it’s good to know that there are natural vision improvement options out there to save your vision!
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is 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 if significant, results in blindness.
There are a few types of glaucoma. 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 angle closure glaucoma, is more aggressive 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.
Research now shows that there is another form of glaucoma out there: normal-tension glaucoma. This type of the disease occurs at almost normal levels of intraocular eye pressure. This disease is difficult to detect, which is why it’s so important to know your family’s eye history and get your eyes checked often.
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 eye exams. 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 preventing 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 purer types of tea.
Specific Vitamins for Glaucoma
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. You can get vitamin C from supplements, tasty candy drops, and foods such as spinach and oranges. You can also eat other types of fruit such as guava and 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!
You can find zinc in lean meat, eggs, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, whole grain products, and oysters. Many of the foods that have these essential vitamins for eye health overlap with one another. So, it’s important to plan out a healthy diet and stick to it. This will help 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 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 while you are young. 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 from screen time, and take your vitamins!
It is also important to protect your eyes from the sun and to rest them properly when you feel eye strain coming on. Listening to your body is essential to taking care of it. 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! You may not be able to change factors like age and genetics when it comes to preventing glaucoma, but you can do a lot to prevent the disease when it comes to diet and daily habits.