Glaucoma and its progression as an eye disease can be significantly impacted upon by your diet. Multiple studies have found several vitamins and minerals seem to have a protective role in aiding the prevention of significant vision loss in glaucoma. No research exists that indicates diet alone can control or cure glaucoma. You should always take your prescribed eye drops as well as alter your diet. Vascular obstruction and hindrance of the blood flow and impaired nutrition of neuronal tissue might be one of the primary causes of glaucoma. It is always best to alter your own diet to ensure you are maximising the nutrients you need for healthy eyes. The best foods to eat plenty of are:
• Green leafy vegetables: spinach, broccoli, rocket, cabbage
• Orange/Yellow Veges/Fruit: capsicum, carrots, pumpkin, oranges, squash
• Blue/Purple Veges/Fruit: Beetroot, blueberries, Goji Berries, Kiwi fruit
• Red/Pink V eges/Fruit: red grapes, cherries, raspberries, capsicum
Omega 3 fats are the best for your eye health. This means fish, canola oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil. Eat fish four times a week. The best fish are tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel.
Things to avoid:
• too much red meat, sugar, refined carbs, fried, trans and saturated fats, processed foods
• If you take Warfarin, you are not able to eat green leafy vegetables and you may be diet deficient
Following are some of the primary options for supplements you should definitely consider taking: Ginkgo Biloba is protective against oxidative stress, which is thought to play a role in the nerve degeneration that occurs in glaucoma. Several studies have shown it can help slow peripheral vision loss. Take as directed on the label.
Blood flow to the optic nerve is essential to maintain structure and protect against glaucomatous nerve damage. Magnesium, Omega 3 fish oils, and Vitamin C all play a role in promoting vascular regulation and blood flow to the nerve. All should be part of the diet of glaucoma patients or those at high risk of glaucoma such as a family history. Fish oil helps increase aqueous outflow and should be taken 1000mg daily. Vit C helps reduce eye pressure and should be taken 5000-1000mg daily(depends on your bowel tolerance: take in several smaller doses). Vit E also helps protect the retina and optic nerve; take 400IU daily. Magnesium supplementation reduced peripheral vasospasms and improved visual fields in patients with normal tension and open angle glaucoma. A product with Pycnogenol and bilberry extract reduced intraocular pressures as well as latanoprost and had an additive effect. In one study 19 out of 20 patients had lower eye pressures and better ocular blood flow. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are concerned about its effects book an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at one of our four Gold Coast practices, and our optometrists will assess and advise you on maintaining healthy eyes.