|Glaucoma is a serious disorder and the leading cause of blindness after macular degeneration. Glaucoma advances slowly, and so many people won’t even know they are at risk until later stages. While eye drops are available to lower eye pressure, these often come at the price of undesirable side-effects. There are ways to prevent glaucoma naturally through diet and lifestyle changes.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition affecting the optic nerve, usually due to increased eye pressure. The buildup of aqueous humor fluid in the eyeball, due to overproduction or improper drainage, creates pressure on the eye. This pressure can gradually damage connecting nerve fibers and blood vessels. Eventually, this leads to loss of vision.
Here are some useful tips to maintain normal eye pressure and prevent glaucoma naturally.
Control Sugar and Blood Pressure
People with diabetes and high blood pressure are prone to elevated eye pressure and glaucoma. Sugar triggers rise in insulin levels, which can cause high blood pressure. This could possibly lead to increased eye pressure. Try to avoid sugar and limit consumption of grains, particularly refined carbohydrates.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Some studies indicate that excessive caffeine intake causes increase in intra ocular pressure (IOP). So, it is important to limit caffeine intake to moderate amounts.
Regular exercise can help reduce glaucoma risk factors such as blood pressure and diabetes. It can also help lower eye pressure, as indicated in some research studies. Engage in moderate activities like walking and jogging routinely to experience the benefits.
Bilberry, the European blueberry, can help strengthen capillary walls of the eyes and promote blood flow. Dark-colored berries, especially blueberries, contain bioflavonoids and other antioxidants that prevent damage by free radicals.
Foods High in Carotenoids
Eat foods rich in carotenoids, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients for vision health. These are found in green leafy vegetables and some yellow fruits and vegetables. Some excellent sources include collard greens, spinach, kale, yellow corn and okra. Egg yolk, Brussels sprouts and orange bell peppers are also good sources.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, is believed to promote healthy retina and can help prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma. Some effective food sources include krill oil, wild caught salmon and sardines.
Take Optimum Vitamins and Minerals
Consume foods containing vitamin A, C and E to maintain healthy eyes. Minerals such as copper, zinc and selenium are also beneficial to vision. Vitamin A is known to improve eye health and is found in foods such as carrots, liver, milk and sweet potatoes.
Trans-fat is associated with numerous ailments and may not be beneficial to the eyes. It can also interfere with omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Try to avoid processed foods, including fried foods, baked items and fats like shortening and margarine.
Protect Your Eyes
Eye injuries can lead to secondary or traumatic glaucoma. Try wearing protective eyewear when engaging in sports or physically demanding activities. In addition, be sure to avoid direct or overexposure to sunlight. This can prevent needless pressure on eyes.
Perform Regular Check-ups
It is good to perform regular eye exams or check-ups, especially if you notice frequent irregularities in vision. Remember that glaucoma is a very gradual process, and an early detection is key to prevent significant damage.
Eye check-ups become particularly important for people in certain risk groups, based on age, family history and other health conditions.
Whether you are looking to maintain healthy vision or undergoing glaucoma treatment, these tips can help you achieve long-term benefits.