Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases usually caused by elevated intraocular pressure, or IOP. Normally, your pressure should be between 12 and 18 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), but if you go above 20 mmHg, you’ll be at risk for this serious condition that damages your vision.
“Tunnel Vision” occurs when the optic nerve is permanently damaged by elevated eye pressure. The main treatment for glaucoma is lowering the intraocular pressure (IOP) with medication or surgery. Better referred to as management because the goal is to stop further loss. Vision loss, unfortunately, cannot be retrieved. You may want to learn more about Glaucoma: Signs, Symptoms, and Why I Should Care
The good news is that current research indicates that a combination of lifestyle choices and the consumption of particular foods and dietary supplements may assist in lowering your risk of elevated eye pressure or preventing deterioration in your eye health.
Before making any dietary changes, always check with your eye doctor.
For people who have glaucoma or are at risk of developing it, here are six dietary recommendations.
1. Increase Your Omega-3s intake
Omega-3 fatty acids are a great nutrient for people with glaucoma because they can lower internal eye pressure. These have optic neuroprotective properties and help by increasing blood flow to the optic nerve.
Fatty fish like salmon, chia and other seeds, nuts, some plant oils, and fortified foods all contain omega-3s.
2. Reduce your caffeine intake
If you struggle with high eye pressure, it may be wise to limit your caffeine intake because caffeine temporarily raises IOP after consumption. One cup of caffeinated coffee per day probably won’t harm you, but it’s not recommended to drink multiple cups of coffee per day.
If you drink multiple cups daily, then better for you to instead be taking decaf coffee.
3. Consider taking nutritional supplements
It can be challenging to get all of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need from your diet on your own. As a result, it might be beneficial to include a high-quality supplement in your diet.
In addition to conventional treatments for glaucoma, vitamin supplementation may assist in slowing the progression of the disease or even preventing or delaying its onset.
In the fight against glaucoma, vitamins B1, B12, C, A, E, thiamine, magnesium, and mitogen may be the most beneficial supplements. Ginkgo biloba, bilberry, and forskolin are herbal supplements that may help with glaucoma.
Make sure to consult your physician before any dietary change.
4. Eat Your Leafy Greens!
Leafy green vegetables are rich in a variety of essential vitamins and nutrients, including dietary nitrates, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as [fiber], folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.
In fact, some studies have found that those who ate the darkest leafy greens had a 20%-30% lower risk of developing glaucoma.
In patients with early visual field loss, consuming nitrate-stuffed salad greens brought down their risks of additional harm to their vision by 40%- 50%
Foods rich in these vital nutrients include kale, spinach, watercress, chard, mustard greens, arugula, romaine lettuce, and collard greens on hand when you next visit the produce aisle.
5. Boost Your Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that shield cells in your body from harmful free radicals. Antioxidants appeared to regulate IOP in animal studies, but large-scale human clinical trials are required to confirm this.
Antioxidants can be found in dark chocolate, dark leafy greens, berries, pecans, red cabbage, beets, beans, artichokes, and pecans.
6. Hydrate the Right Way
Hydration is essential for all of the body’s systems, including the visual one. The majority of eye doctors advise drinking two liters of water daily.
However, it is essential to keep in mind that drinking a lot of water in a short period of time can actually raise inner eye pressure. Instead, smaller amounts of water should be consumed more frequently throughout the day.
Before making any dietary changes, always check with your primary care physician.
Consult your optometrist about specific dietary and lifestyle modifications that can assist in preventing the onset or progression of glaucoma.