What is Glaucoma?

About 1 to 2% of Americans over-the age of 40 suffer from glaucoma—which is an elevation of pressure inside your eyes—but it goes undetected as much as 25% of the time. Without proper treatment to reduce the pressure, glaucoma leads to progressive impairment of vision and eventually blindness. When the pressure inside the eyeball increases, it continuously "squeezes" the optic nerve until it finally damages it permanently.

GlaucomaThere are two forms of glaucoma: the "open angle" form that affects 90% of glaucoma sufferers, and the "angle-closure" form. Open-angle glaucoma occurs insidiously and painlessly over many years, while the angle-closure or narrow-angle form causes abrupt onset of marked pain and redness when something occludes the outflow port for circulation of fluids within the eye and the pressure shoots up suddenly. Although the angle-closure form can lead to blindness in a matter of a few days if not treated, it takes many years of slowly increasing pressure for open-angle glaucoma to rob you of normal vision. You are at greater risk to develop glaucoma if others in your family have it or if you are a Black American. All Americans over age 40 should visit an eye specialist for glaucoma screening every 3 years, but higher-risk Americans should do so every year. In addition to prevention through regular screening, what role does nutrition play? Let's look in Glaucoma diet.

What makes Glaucoma worse?

• Avoid caffeine. Tests monitoring pressure inside the eye showed significant increases following intake of caffeinated espresso, but did not show such increases with decaffeinated espresso. Recommendation: If you have or are at risk for glaucoma, avoid caffeine in coffee, chocolate, and soft drinks. Minimize your intake of trans fatty acids. Manufacturers take healthy polyunsaturated oils, which are unstable and prone to rancidity, and make them more shelf stable by heating them to high temperatures. At high temperatures, the chemical bonding of the carbon and hydrogen atoms in the oils shifts from the natural arrangement—called cis—to a form called trans, which is more stable, but less usable for the human metabolism. There is some evidence that fatty acids in this trans configuration can actually harm human tissues in a variety of ways, including elevating eye pressures in people prone to glaucoma. Recommendation: Use cold-pressed oils, such as extra-virgin or virgin olive oil and canola oil. Read the label of oils you purchase in the supermarket, and if it doesn't declare that the oil is cold-pressed—a much more expensive process, so the manufacturer usually will proclaim it on the label—call the company and inquire if heat extraction is used to make the oil in question. The naturally saturated fats, like real butter, are not heat-treated at these high temperatures. Deep-frying can also destroy "good" oils, so you should also avoid deep-frying your foods no matter what kind of oil you choose.

• A diet too high in protein may increase pressure inside the eye. In a study of 400 people with various eye disorders including glaucoma, excessive dietary protein (greater than 3 times the RDA of 1/2 gram per pound of lean body weight) showed a tendency toward increased eye pressures. We could find no mention of the protein breakdown—that is, how much came from fish, poultry, red meat, organ meat, eggs, or dairy—and that information is significant since the levels of arachidonic acid, one of the "bad" prostaglandins (see eicosinoids, pages 24-27), varies according to the kind of protein. Red meats, organ meats, and egg yolk have higher levels of arachidonic acid than the others, and so in theory, a diet containing high amounts of these specific proteins might prove more damaging than one with the same amount of protein, but composed of fish, poultry, and egg white (without yolks). Recommendation: Because protein is absolutely essential to life, we would certainly advise you to be sure to get the required 1/2 gram per pound of lean body weight per day, but based on the findings in this particular study, we would suggest that if you exceed that protein minimum, you eat more of fish, poultry, and egg white and less of red meat, organ meats, and yolks.

Search over 10,000 Natural Remedies and Alternative Medicine Articles

Eye disorders
Eye cataract
Cataracts natural remedies
Cataracts prevent
Macular degenerative disease
Glaucoma diet
Glaucoma eye
Glaucoma remedies
Glaucoma prevention
Glaucoma natural remedies
Macular degeneration
Macular degeneration aids
Macular degeneration diet
Macular degeneration natural remedies
Macular degeneration vitamins
Nutrition for eyes
Cataract diet
Cataract natural remedies
Macular eye degeneration
Vitamins for cataracts



Other Health Problems:

Diabetes Mellitus
Ear infections
Eye disorders
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Fluid Retention
Food Allergy
Food Poisoning
Gall Bladder Disease
Gall Stones
Garlic Odor in Breath
Gum Disease