How to Naturally Reduce Your Risk for Glaucoma

There are several glaucoma causes that people who want to prevent the disease should be aware of. This is because several conditions can lead to glaucoma, including diabetes, trauma to the eye and certain steroid medications. Having vision insurance is beneficial in these cases as well.

While all types of glaucoma are most commonly present in older adults, glaucoma can also affect young adults, children and infants. Glaucoma is a serious and progressive condition that can lead to significant damage to the eye’s optic nerve. The damage is irreversible and can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Types of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma, one of which is much more common. The more common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma, which occurs when the aqueous humor channel within the eye becomes blocked, preventing the eye from draining properly and releasing fluid as it should. Angle-closure, the less common form of glaucoma, occurs when the eye does not drain correctly due to the narrowing of the drain space between the iris and the cornea.

Both kinds of glaucoma can be the result of medical conditions like diabetes. However, the disease is usually present in those with a family history of glaucoma. Additionally, angle-closure glaucoma, the less common form, is prominently present among patients of Asian descent. Finally, although certain conditions can lead to glaucoma, the disease can also develop due to eye injury.

Without the proper eye treatment, glaucoma can lead to total and permanent blindness within a few years. Therefore, it is important to learn about symptoms, risk factors and prevention methods for glaucoma, especially if you have a family history of the disease or have any other condition that could lead to the disease.

Learn About Prevention and Risk Factors of Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes include but are not limited to:

  • Blunt trauma or chemical injury to the eye.
  • Diabetes, especially if the condition is uncontrolled.
  • Certain steroid medications, such as prednisone.

Additionally, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing glaucoma. For example, glaucoma is most common in adults 40 years of age and older.

Other risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Being African American, Irish, Russian, Hispanic, Japanese, Scandinavian or Inuit.
  • Having a close family history of glaucoma.
  • Having poor vision.

Unfortunately, neither type of glaucoma is completely preventable. The best strategy is to catch the disease early while it can still be treated and controlled. For this reason, medical professionals strongly encourage eye exams from a licensed eye doctor every one to two years. An eye exam is even more important for those who have a higher chance of developing glaucoma, such as diabetics.

There are some eye supplements that are marketed as “eye vitamins” and claim to prevent glaucoma or reverse vision loss that occurs because of the condition. However, while there is some evidence to support taking eye health supplements that contain a high intake of vitamin B, few studies have tested the claims that vitamins or other supplements can help reverse glaucoma.

If you still want to consume eye-healthy nutrients, keep in mind that potential “eye vitamins food” should have antioxidants and natural compounds. In these cases, green tea and tropical fruit might be beneficial. There is a small amount of evidence to suggest that the progression of glaucoma may be slowed, but further research is needed.

Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma

Those afflicted with either type of glaucoma may not show any initial symptoms. However, the first symptom that appears is usually a loss of peripheral vision. This loss of vision may be unnoticeable until late in the disease. Therefore, it is crucial that you engage in routine eye exams, especially if you are at a higher risk for the disease.

In both types of glaucoma, suffers may experience symptoms such as:

  • Seeing “halos” around sources of light.
  • Persistent redness of the eye.
  • General vision loss.
  • Eyes that appear hazy.
  • Lingering pain within the eye.
  • Narrowed vision.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

However, only an eye exam performed by a licensed eye doctor can confirm a diagnosis of glaucoma.

Learn About Treatment and Drugs for Glaucoma

There is no glaucoma natural treatment that has significant evidence of reversing damage that the condition has already caused, nor is there proof that natural remedies can slow the progression of the disease. Vision that has been lost due to glaucoma cannot be regained. However, eye treatment may halt the progression of glaucoma and prevent further vision loss.

The types of eye treatments that are available to you will depend on how far the disease has progressed. In early cases, non-invasive options through the use of medical eye drops can increase the outflow of fluid within the eyes or reduce the formation of fluid entirely. Either option would result in a reduction to eye pressure.

However, in most cases, laser surgery or microsurgery is needed to halt the progression of glaucoma. There are several different laser surgery options that your doctor may recommend, based upon the type of glaucoma you have. These procedures include:

  • Trabeculoplasty, a procedure that is meant to help drain the fluid buildup in the eye.
  • Iridotomy, a procedure that involves creating tiny holes within the iris to allow fluid within the eye to flow and drain more freely.
  • Cyclophotocoagulation, a procedure that treats the middle layer of the eye in order to reduce the production of fluid and thus prevent fluid buildup and eye pressure.

If your eye doctor recommends microsurgery, a procedure known as a trabeculectomy will be performed. During the procedure, your doctor will create a new channel for fluid to drain from the eye affected eye. In more severe cases, a tube may be implanted to assist with the fluid drain, which may require pain management afterward.

Surgical forms of eye treatment are not without their risks. There is a risk that the surgery could fail as well as a risk of temporary vision loss, permanent vision loss and infection. However, in cases where medical eye drops are not a viable option, surgical procedures are the only way to stop the progression of the disease that would, left untreated, ultimately lead to blindness.