Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide. When the optic nerve in your eyes sustains progressive damage from glaucoma, it’s frequently because of the high pressure brought on by an excessive quantity of fluid buildup. Starting with our peripheral vision and gradually impacting the rest of our eyes, this deterioration has the potential to cause vision loss.
Approximately three million Americans are thought to have glaucoma, yet due to the absence of early symptoms, half of them are unaware that they are affected. How then may one take preventative measures to lower their chance of glaucoma?
Even while there is no foolproof way to prevent glaucoma, there are steps you may take to lower your risk of getting it. Specifically:
Eating a lot of vegetables in your diet
Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens is healthy for our eyes as well as our general health and well-being. Carotenoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables, are good for the health of our eyes. It has also been demonstrated that foods high in vitamins A and C, such as cabbage, kale, spinach to name a, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, radishes celery, carrots, peaches, green beans, and beets, improve our eye health and help lower the risk of glaucoma.
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support vision
Other components of a balanced diet provide numerous nutrients that aid in glaucoma prevention. Although vitamin E has also been found to improve eyesight, vitamins A and C are still better for our eyes. Wheat and cereal, shellfish, avocados, almonds, egg yolks, and other foods all contain vitamin E. Additionally excellent for your eyes and able to lower your risk of glaucoma are zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that your body can really suffer from taking in too much excellent stuff. Our previous advice still holds true today on whether or not supplements can be helpful. knowing the history of eye disease in your family.
You are more likely to get glaucoma if a family member does. Always tell an eye doctor about your family history to make sure you’re having the eye exams you need to detect glaucoma early. To help keep the symptoms of glaucoma at bay, doctors may also recommend eye medications to help shield your eyes from pressure-related harm.
Regular, moderate exercise may reduce ocular pressure, which could help prevent glaucoma in addition to keeping your body in good shape. There is no need to put an unnecessary strain on your heart, joints, or other trouble regions, but depending on your age and health, you might need to take measures before exercising. To assist lower the risk of glaucoma, it is advised that you establish a fitness program specifically catered to your restrictions while working with a doctor.
Mechanism of glaucomatous Damage
A series of eye diseases known as glaucoma damage the optic nerve and result in gradual vision loss. An imbalance in the generation and drainage of aqueous humor, the fluid that nourishes the eye, is the primary mechanism underlying glaucoma.
The ciliary body, which is found behind the iris, continuously produces aqueous fluid in a healthy eye. The anterior chamber, which is the area between the cornea and the iris, gets filled after passing through the pupil. The trabecular meshwork, a network of tissues at the point where the iris and cornea converge, is where the fluid eventually drains from the eye.
Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) results from a disturbance in the drainage of aqueous fluid in glaucoma. The optic nerve, which transmits visual data from the eye to the brain, is under stress as a result of increased pressure. This increased pressure over time may harm the optic nerve fibers, impairing vision.
Open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma are the two basic forms, and they have different mechanisms:
The most prevalent type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. In this kind, the trabecular meshwork loses its ability to drain the aqueous humor, which causes the IOP to gradually rise. Although the precise origin of this disability is not well understood, elements like aging, heredity, and structural irregularities in the meshwork may be involved.
This form develops when the drainage angle between the iris and cornea gets smaller or closes entirely, preventing aqueous humor from draining. Acute angle-closure glaucoma and chronic angle-closure glaucoma are two different ways that this can manifest. Angle-closure can be brought on by anatomical flaws in the eye, such as a thicker lens or a shallow anterior chamber.
In the onset and development of glaucoma, additional variables such as vascular irregularities, inflammation, and oxidative stress may also be involved. The exact mechanisms underpinning these activities are still being researched, though.
It is crucial to highlight that although some people with glaucoma may have normal or low IOP, higher intraocular pressure is a substantial risk factor for the disease. This implies that additional elements, such as reduced blood supply to the optic nerve or hereditary susceptibility, may play a role in the development of the illness.
Best Vitamins for Glaucoma
Vitamins to Reduce Eye Pressure
Strong antioxidant vitamin C may be able to defend the visual nerve from oxidative stress. According to one study, patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG) had considerably lower vitamin C levels than healthy control patients. However, there is conflicting information regarding whether taking vitamin C supplements can prevent glaucoma. Another study revealed that intravenous vitamin C administration reduced IOP by 20%, but IOP eventually returned to normal after 10 to 12 hours. Similar to mannitol, vitamin C seems to have a large osmotic effect, however, intravenous dosages are impractical. Additional research revealed that oral vitamin C supplementation had no impact on IOP.
Magnesium may benefit glaucoma sufferers by increasing ocular blood flow. By preventing the production of glutamate, a substance that can cause oxidative stress and harm to the visual nerve, it also has a neuroprotective effect. According to one study, individuals with glaucoma who took a supplement containing magnesium combined with homotaurine, folic acid, carnosine, forskolin, and B vitamins such as B1, B2, and B6 experienced a statistically significant drop in IOP as well as an improvement in their sensitivity to light and contrast.
Niacin, often known as vitamin B3, and one of its derivatives, niacinamide, have recently attracted attention as a supplement for the treatment of glaucoma. An increased risk for Normal Tension Glaucoma and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) has been associated with low niacin intake. The coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which is derived from niacinamide, is of particular relevance. According to a recent article, several critical impairments in glaucoma can be connected to an NAD+ deficiency and the ensuing mitochondrial malfunction. Using rodent models to replicate glaucoma, a new large-scale, international preclinical investigation involving seven nations discovered that nicotinamide exhibited neuroprotective benefits, indicating that this supplement is worthwhile exploring in human clinical trials.
Omegas 3, 6
By boosting aqueous outflow, the essential fatty acids (FAs) omega 3 and omega 6 may aid in lowering IOP. According to a study analyzing the FA levels in the blood of POAG patients, these patients had lower amounts of (EPA) eicosapentaenoic acid and (DHA) docosahexaenoic acid than healthy people. A high-omega-3 FA diet, according to an animal study, was linked to decreased IOP. According to a different study, patients with NTG who consumed more oral omega 3 had considerably higher aqueous outflow and reduced IOP. The action of prostaglandins, a class of omega 3 FA metabolites, is the mechanism underlying this enhanced aqueous outflow. Prostaglandin analogs are a mainstay of current best practices for treating glaucoma patients.
One of the supplements with the most potential for treating glaucoma is ginkgo biloba. It is well known for its antioxidant qualities, ability to boost blood flow, ability to stabilize mitochondria, and ability to shield neurons from harm. The primary substances present in ginkgo biloba are flavonoids, polyphenol chemicals with antioxidant and neuroprotective effects that are found in plants. According to a meta-analysis of the effects of flavonoids in glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT) patients, flavonoids may help to decrease the loss of visual field over time. Oral supplementation with antioxidants, such as ginkgo biloba, increased biomarkers of ocular blood flow in individuals with open-angle glaucoma, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover research. Another study found that certain NTG patients who took ginkgo biloba supplements had lessened visual field damage already present. Ginkgo biloba may also have advantageous benefits on ocular blood flow, according to a different study including NTG patients.
A dietary supplement called mirtogenol (Horphag/Indena) functions similarly to gingko biloba. It consists of two phenolic extracts made from the bark of French maritime pine and bilberry. According to earlier research, Mirtogenol can help treat glaucoma by increasing ocular blood flow and reducing IOP. In one trial, Mirtogenol reduced IOP in OHT patients without glaucoma symptoms. In accordance with a different study, Mirtogenol and the prostaglandin analog latanoprost ophthalmic solution 0.005% (Xalatan, Viatris) worked in concert to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) and improve retinal blood flow in comparison to latanoprost-only patients.
A polyphenol from plants is resveratrol. Clinical investigations have demonstrated the potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-aging benefits of resveratrol. Additionally, it might lessen mitochondrial dysfunction. In a review of the literature, one study showed how resveratrol had antioxidative and antiapoptotic effects on the trabecular meshwork cells by documenting a consistent decline in inflammatory markers and cellular senescence indicators in POAG patients. According to a different study, resveratrol therapy significantly slowed the apoptotic process, promoting normal mitochondrial membrane potential and increasing cell survival.
Summary of Vitamins for Glaucoma
Although it should come as no surprise that a vitamin-rich diet is good for your general health, it is unknown whether nutrition affects glaucoma. Previous research has produced mixed results; some studies suggest food may help prevent glaucoma, while others found no connection between diet and incidence rates. According to the SUN (University of Navarra follow-up study), a Spanish study that tracked participants for an average of 12 years, those who consumed large amounts of a particular vitamin combination may be able to reduce their chance of developing glaucoma by half. According to the researchers, these findings highlight the necessity for ophthalmologists to include prevention in their toolbox for treating glaucoma.
FAQ’s for Vitamins for Glaucoma
What eye vitamins for glaucoma help to lower ocular pressure?
Vitamins for Glaucoma Supplements: What to Tell Your Patients. One study discovered that intravenous vitamin C reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) by 20% over the course of two hours; it does seem to have a sizable osmotic impact, similar to mannitol.
How can I treat glaucoma without medication?
Adopt a balanced diet. A nutritious diet can aid in maintaining your well-being, but it won’t stop glaucoma from getting worse.
- Exercise responsibly. Regular physical activity may lower ocular pressure.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Use the medication as directed.
How can vitamin D affect glaucoma?
Numerous research studies have been published that claim glaucoma or intraocular pressure (IOP) and serum vitamin D3 levels are related. The latter is the main focus of glaucoma treatment because it is known to be a significant risk factor for the disease.