4 Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Glaucoma
While natural remedies cannot and should not replace professional medical advice, controlling your eye pressure by eating healthily, reducing stress and staying active can certainly improve your quality of life with glaucoma. Be sure to run the changes you want to make past your physician for advice and assistance to be on the safe side.
Pacing and Monitoring Fluid Consumption
While it's important to stay well hydrated, people with glaucoma may experience increased eye pressure after consuming large quantities of water. Studies suggest that this effect occurs in up to 80 percent of glaucoma sufferers with as little as a quart of water consumed over 20 minutes. Glaucoma patients should be careful to pace their consumption of fluids to mitigate this effect. In some studies, caffeine has also been implicated in increased eye pressure, so choosing non-caffeinated drinks is a reasonable precautionary measure for glaucoma sufferers.
While there are no specific vitamins or supplements recommended for glaucoma treatment or prevention, many nutrients are renowned for assisting with general eye health and may therefore assist in preventing further deterioration. Essential nutrients for eye health include zinc, copper and selenium, as well as antioxidant vitamins C, E and A. Keeping insulin levels even and preventing carbohydrate-induced spikes can help to control eye pressure.
A balanced diet with plenty of lightly cooked or raw vegetables, especially leafy greens, is the best way to ensure good nutrient levels. Consulting a medical specialist for advice on supplementation may be worthwhile if you have concerns about the quality of your diet in this regard, however.
Healthy Body, Health Eyes
Current evidence suggests that exercise on its own can help to reduce inner eye pressure by around 20 percent, a significant improvement for those with glaucoma. Sessions at least three times a week were required for best effect, and the effects were lost in those patients who ceased to exercise for two weeks or more. Open-angle glaucoma in particular responds well to this type of treatment, and even regular walking may be sufficient to create a noticeable level of improvement.
However, closed-angle glaucoma is unlikely to respond as well to any form of exercise. Strenuous exercises and those that include a lowered head, such as some yoga positions, can also increase inner eye pressure, so you should avoid doing these types of exercise.
Acute stress can bring on a glaucoma attack, so finding ways to manage stress and control your responses can help to prevent symptoms from appearing. Many people use biofeedback techniques and meditation to regulate stress levels, and classes are available at all levels to help you learn these practices.
It is not possible to remove all of the effects of glaucoma using natural techniques, but several methods of self-help are available. These can supplement the medical treatment and help to mitigate symptoms. While a focus on correct diet and activity can help with many conditions, including glaucoma, patients should always seek medical advice before making any radical changes to their lifestyles or diets.