Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to increased intraocular pressure (IOP) usually caused by elevated fluid pressure within the eye. There are several forms of glaucoma, but they can all cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss, even blindness, if left untreated. There are over 2 million people in North America with glaucoma, with an additional approximately 25% undiagnosed. The incidence of glaucoma is highest among people over sixty years old, people of African ancestry and people with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of glaucoma. Smoking and long term use of corticosteroids seem to be two of the highest lifestyle risk factors.

Recommended Action

Mild exercise, three times a week has been shown to reduce risk of glaucoma. Avoid prolonged eye stress such as watching television, reading or using a computer for long periods of time. Take ‘focus breaks’ when using your eyes for extended periods. Every 20 minutes you focus on something far away for at least 1 – 2 minutes. Avoid tobacco smoke, coffee, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. People with glaucoma shouldn’t take more than a total of 200 mg of Niacin daily. You should test yourself for allergies (see Diet Plans), as some allergies can raise the pressure in the eye.

Single Herbs: Bilberry, fresh blueberries, Raspberry leaves, Marijuana, Chickweed, Coleus (Ayurvedic herb), Chamomile tea eye wash (strain through coffee filter), Ginkgo.

Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin A (50,000 IU), Beta-carotene (50,000 IU daily), B complex (one, twice daily), Choline (1,000 – 2,000 mg daily), Vitamin C (1000 mg, six – ten times daily), Bioflavonoids (mixed; 1,000 mg daily), Chromium (100 mcg daily), Magnesium (200 mg daily), Multivitamins and minerals, Krill / Black Currant Oil (2,000 mg, twice daily), Alpha Lipoic Acid (100 mg daily).