Glaucoma is characterized by an increase of pressure of the fluid within the eyeball and hardening of the eyeball. It is a major cause of blindness and is characterized by progressive degeneration of the optic nerve and is usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure. Glaucoma steals sight very gradually and earned the gimmick name “the thief of sight.” There are about 70 million suspected cases of glaucoma today and is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. This condition affects older people but can start in the forties. It is more common in women than men.
What are the Causes?
A number of diseases can contribute to the development of glaucoma:
- Diabetes, high blood pressure, migraine, sickle cell anemia, leukemia, hypothyroidism and some forms of arthritis
- Eye Surgery
- Sleep apnea
- Injury to the eye
- Extreme nearsightedness
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Physical and emotional stress
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: Open angle glaucoma accounts for 19 percent of all blindness among African Americans compared to six percent in Caucasians. The exact cause is unknown; however, many different variables can lead to increased ocular pressure and nerve damage that can eventually destroy sight.
Closed Angle Glaucoma: Closed angle glaucoma is caused by a structural defect that causes a narrow angle between the iris and cornea. This can be triggered by darkness, emotional stress and drugs including: antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, some asthma medications (nebulized ipratropium), some anti-seizure drugs (topiramate), and topical and oral corticosteroids.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms include: discomfort or eye pain (mainly in the morning), blurred vision, halos around light, inability of pupils to adjust to a dark room, and peripheral vision loss.
- Avoid prolonged eye stress such a TV, computer or reading.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol and nicotine. Drink only small amount of water at a time and drink more frequently.
- Avoid sugar and most grains. Keeping your blood sugar level is very important.
- Take a hot foot-bath at night for 10 minutes to divert the pressure from the eye.
- Don’t carry heavy items and prevent prolonged bending.
- Work on stress reduction; eliminate toxins and chemicals from your environment (esp. secondhand smoke).
- Drink 1-2 cups of green tea or Indian tulsi tea daily. In one study, scientists were able to prove that the retina absorbed the highest levels of the antioxidant gallocatechin from green tea, while the aqueous humor (the fluid in the chambers of your eye) soaked up the highest amounts of the antioxidant epigallocatechin (EGCG). Antioxidants help protect the eyes from damage.
- Eat wild salmon: Wild salmon contains astaxanthin, thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature.
- Eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables for potent carotenoids.
Cheri Swanson has had personal experience with high eye pressure, and amazed her opthamologist with her program that stopped it from advancing. This was her exact program.
A strong antioxidant and has been showing in several studies to lower intraocular eye pressure.
Amount: 200mg daily
Bilberry has been well-documented to help vision.
Amount: 320mg daily
Important for dilating blood vessels and getting oxygen to the eyes.
Amount: 400-500mg daily split into two doses
It greatly reduces intraocular pressure, is a potent anti oxidant and assists in building collagen. Flavonoids in whole vitamin C have been well-researched and are essential for eye health.
Amount: 3 capsules 2x daily
A natural diuretic that promotes kidney health. Eye pressure is linked to the kidneys.
Amount: 10 2x a day
1. Stone Edwin, et al. Identification of a Gene That Causes Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
2. The University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_causes_glaucoma_optic_nerve_damage_000025_2.htm
3. C. Pui Pang et al. Green Tea Catechins and Their Oxidative Protection in the Rat Eye. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. DOI: 10.1021/jf9032602