Vitality

5 Tips To Combat Glaucoma Symptoms

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S., as it leads to permanent vision loss in 9 to 12 percent of Americans who go blind. The condition affects 3 million Americans and 5.7 million people worldwide.

There are no definite symptoms of the condition except for being older than 60, Hispanic, Asian and African American. Having obesity, diabetes and hypertension are the other possible causes behind glaucoma, especially if you have had a major injury that adds pressure to the internal parts of the eye. In some people, a family history of glaucoma and a side effect of using steroids can also cause glaucoma.

When fluid accumulates in the eye and exerts pressure on to the optic nerve, retina and lens, called intraocular pressure, it slowly progresses to blindness. With primary open-angle glaucoma, and primary chronic glaucoma, the absence of pain makes it harder to diagnose early on. Unfortunately, for 10 percent of people despite treatment, it still escalates to glaucoma and, consequently, blindness. 

At the onset, it is also not possible to spot partial blindness in terms of peripheral or vision loss, the condition only becomes apparent when complete blindness sets in. This becomes difficult to diagnose also because the sharpness of vision does not disappear until the final stages. Conventional medication in the form of eye drops in order to reduce intraocular pressure and stop the generation of fluid works upon early detection. Laser therapy and surgery to clear fluid from the eye and simultanelously reduce pressure is the other option that prevents vision loss, too.

But the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests routine eye exams, so that the condition can be treated with antioxidant supplements and food. This method of treatment has begun to interest opthamologists recently and some of the options are listed below:

Fish Oil

According to a study by the University of Melbourne, consuming Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for three consecutive months, led to decrease in intraocular pressure in people with early symptoms of glaucoma.

A similar study published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology indicated that glaucoma is prevented if cod liver oil is consumed together with vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements with 600 milligrams of EPA and 400 milligrams taken everyday could do the job as well, opthamologists said.

glaucoma treatment Patients suffering from glaucoma symptoms can choose from a variety of supplements to prevent the escalation of the disease. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a powerful carotenoid that is found in reddish orange foods. Natural foods like algae and wild caught salmon can act as a preventive agent to reduce retinal damage that is brought on by oxidative stress. Taking 2 milligrams of astaxanthin per day in supplement form can also help reduce intraocular pressure and the other symptoms of glaucoma.

Bilberry

Bilberry is an antioxidant plant with phenolic compounds that is available to be consumed as a supplement in either capsules or powders in the form of extracts. Generally, 160 milligrams of bilberry supplements taken twice a day can treat glaucoma symptoms.   

CoQ10

CoQ10 is another antioxidant that studies have proven to reverse some of the symptoms of glaucoma. It prevents neuroretinal cell damage and also reduces the amount of free radicals generated in the eye. Taking 300 milligrams in supplement form along with Vitamin E eye drops tend to work effectively. 

Magnesium

“Both improvement in ocular blood flow and prevention of ganglion cell loss would make magnesium a good candidate for glaucoma management,” said a particular review published in the International Scholarly Research Notices. Taking 250 milligrams of the supplement can help relieve the symptoms.

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