Using natural vitamins for glaucoma may help you to preserve your eyesight. Nutritional solutions exist for many health problems, including glaucoma. Could supplementation help you prevent or treat this debilitating disease?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that robs you of your sight. One of the risk factors of optic nerve damage is pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is a progressive disease that may be hereditary. In many cases, there are no symptoms of glaucoma other than eye pressure. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. There is no cure for glaucoma; however, existing treatments allow you to manage the condition. Treatments like surgery or medication can slow or prevent the onset of blindness.
Can Vitamins Save Your Eyesight?
It has long been believed that carrots are good for the eyes. It turns out this is a slight exaggeration. The presence of vitamin A in carrots is certainly conducive to ocular processes; however, you'd need to eat a lot of carrots to get the amount of vitamin A required for improved vision. Some evidence shows certain vitamins and nutritional supplements-like vitamin A-may help with eye related problems like glaucoma and cataracts.
Natural Vitamins for Glaucoma
Nutritional supplements and dietary changes can slow the progress of glaucoma, if you catch the disease in its early stages. If you plan to try taking natural vitamins for glaucoma, it is always best to do it in conjunction with a treatment plan set forth by your doctor. Two main supplements are frequently mentioned that may help with glaucoma.
Chromium is a trace element your body requires. Glaucoma has been associated with chromium deficiencies, mainly because there is a correlation between chromium and insulin receptors in the eye. People with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for glaucoma, and chromium has been associated with helping to control blood sugar problems associated with type 2 diabetes. Both people with glaucoma and people with type 2 diabetes often display chromium deficiencies. The recommended daily allowance for chromium is 120 micrograms per day. Taking chromium may cause a drop in blood sugar, so it is important to discuss chromium supplementation with your doctor before self-prescribing it as a treatment for glaucoma.
Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin with many properties that support health. Along with being touted as a cure for the common cold, an immune system builder and a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C may also decrease the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma. It is believed the antioxidant properties of vitamin C have the most effect on preserving vision. Glaucoma patients take vitamin C both as an eye drop and internally. Check with your doctor about the use of vitamin C in preserving eye health.
A number of other antioxidants may also positively affect vision, and could help to prevent degenerative changes associated with glaucoma. While most antioxidants may help, vitamins E, A and zinc are of particular interest.
What to Avoid
What you don't ingest may be just as important in preventing glaucoma as what you do. Since high blood sugar and diabetes correlate with glaucoma, avoiding sugar may help in its prevention. When you eat sugar, it diverts the chromium stores from your eyes to deal with the sugar in your blood. This can result in the chromium that is supposed to keep eye pressure stable being diverted to deal with sugar in the blood, instead.
Vanadium is another trace mineral present in foods. People with glaucoma should avoid it because it depletes chromium stores. Vanadium is present in many seafoods including sea vegetables and fish, mushrooms and commercial poultry that has been fed a seafood diet.
Glaucoma can be a painful and debilitating eye condition. Nutritional supplements show some promise in helping to manage or prevent the disease, however, more research is needed. If you'd like to try supplementation as a means of managing glaucoma, talk to your doctor.