Despite the fact that there is no such cure for glaucoma, there are certain natural ways and wellness suggestions that can help your eyes adopt medical treatment as effectively as possible. Natural treatments are known to be a useful addition to medical care, but be aware of internet glaucoma “quick cure” and purported medical treatments. Before starting a new routine that could have an impact on your condition or health or interact with your present therapy, always consult with your eye care specialist.
I hope this blog will shed light on this topic and assist clinicians in addressing patient inquiries and concerns.
Natural Remedies for Glaucoma
- Don’t Smoke Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes significantly increases the chance of developing several eyes and overall health issues. Smoking can aggravate a number of eye diseases, including cataracts, uveitis, age-related macular degeneration, and retinal vein occlusions.
As a vasoconstrictor, nicotine narrows the blood vessels. This can decrease blood flow to the optic nerve and impede the aqueous expulsion from the anterior chamber drainage angle. Also, it has been demonstrated that smoking increases ocular pressure by more than five mmHg.
Furthermore, according to population-based research, quitting smoke is one of the most effective natural glaucoma eye disease treatments.
- Adopt a Healthy Diet to Combat Glaucoma
Good nutrition plays a vital role in eye health and may even slow the progress of conditions such as glaucoma.
Recent studies suggest that specific nutrients and vitamins may impact IOP and the incidence and progression of glaucoma. In particular, vegetables and fruits that are high in Vitamins C and A, as well as carotenoids, appear to be helpful.
Some of the essential vegetables necessary to incorporate into your diet are leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and kale. Antioxidants may also help prevent further damage to the optic nerve. You can find antioxidants in foods like pomegranates, cranberries, acai berries, flex seeds, green and black tea, etc.
Certain foods like green beans, carrots, beets, radishes, and peaches are important to add to your diet intake as well.
- Regular Exercise to Promote Healthy IOP
Moderate exercise can help you to promote healthy IOP levels. That is because exercise improves blood flow to the rest of your body and your eyes. Don’t overdo it, as vigorous exercise can also elevate IOP.
Some meditation and yoga positions can also contribute to higher IOP, which is not good for glaucoma patients. If you have glaucoma and want to practice yoga, be sure to avoid yoga poses such as prolonged downward-facing directions, headstands, legs up the wall, plows, and standing-forward bends.
- Natural Supplements to Treat Glaucoma
If you have mineral or vitamin deficiencies, natural and over-the-counter supplements may help you to treat glaucoma, including:
- Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E
All these supplements are important for those with glaucoma. If you feel that your nutrition intake is inadequate, taking a daily multivitamin can help.
However, note that vitamin supplements are not clinically proven to cure or prevent glaucoma. Always consult with your doctor before taking any type of supplements and medications, even if you are considering natural products.
- Herbs to Treat Glaucoma
A few herbs are believed to aid in glaucoma treatments. Specifically, bilberry, ginkgo, and forskolin may have some advantages. Some of the benefits of these home remedies for glaucoma are:
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba): In a few scientific models, this herb has shown an increase in ocular blood flow.
- Bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus): Bilberry is a popular herb because of its strong antioxidant nature. One research study indicated a reduction in retinal ganglion cell damage in mice with the use of bilberry. However, there is no corresponding evidence demonstrating this effect in humans.
- Forskolin (coleus forskohlii): This herb has been explored for its potential to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) when applied topically. It achieves this by slowing down the production of aqueous fluid in the eye.
- Medical marijuana (cannabis): Cannabis has been the subject of some studies, which have suggested that it may have a temporary IOP-lowering effect, primarily through frequent use. However, such frequent use can give rise to potentially hazardous side effects.
It’s crucial to remember that although these herbal remedies show promise in certain studies, they do not possess validated clinical status as treatments for glaucoma. Moreover, some herbs may have adverse effects or interact negatively with other medications. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before considering any herbal remedies for glaucoma.
Natural Prevention of Glaucoma
If you are at risk for glaucoma, there may be some daily habits that you can begin or stop to lower your risk of a diagnosis. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, consider incorporating the following into your lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Both excessively high and low body mass indexes (BMIs) may elevate the risk of glaucoma.
- Stop smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Explore meditation as a mindfulness practice. According to some research, stress has been linked to an increased likelihood of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), and consistent meditation may contribute to reducing eye pressure.
- Prioritize excellent oral care and schedule regular dental check-ups. Several studies have suggested a potential connection between periodontal (gum) disease and an elevated risk of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).
- Undergo glaucoma screenings, mainly if there is a family history of the condition.
Consult Your Eye Care Specialist
Vision loss from glaucoma can’t be reversed; hence, it is important that the condition be identified early and treated correctly. Healthy lifestyle changes and dietary supplements may be useful to complement conventional glaucoma treatments. However, natural remedies for glaucoma should not be used as an alternative to glaucoma treatment prescribed and recommended by your eye doctor.
Also, before considering any natural remedies, be careful to discuss them with your doctor. Some might negatively interact with your medications, which can be harmful to you.