Glaucoma is caused by an increase in the pressure of the fluid inside the eye. The Aqueous humour is made by cells behind the iris. It usually flows through the pupil of the eye, draining through channels in the angle between the front of the iris and the cornea.
In acute, close-angle glaucoma, the drainage channels become suddenly blocked. There is severe pain and sudden loss of vision. There may be nausea and vomiting. The eye is red and hard, the cornea swells and the pupil is fixed. An early warning sign is seeing coloured haloes around street lights at night, because the pupil dilates in the dark. This is a medical emergency which must be treated urgently to save the sight of the eye.
Chronic glaucoma occurs where there is a gradual loss of drainage through the channels. Pressure builds up slowly and damages the retina and optic nerve, causing visual disturbance. It is a common cause of blindness and may need surgery to relieve the pressure and preserve sight.
Anyone with a family history of glaucoma should have their eye pressure checked every year.
Nutritional Supplements that could help. (Refer to the individual supplement for cautions in use.)
|Supplement/Herb||What it does||Dosage|
|Bioflavanoids||Immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine and anti-oxidant. Can help protect and strengthen blood vessels.||1gm daily|
|Rutin||Helps strengthen capilleries and other connective tissues, keeping them flexible.||500 – 1000mg daily|
|Vitamin C||Useful as an anti-oxidant to protect against degenerative disease. Helps strenghten connective tissue.||4 – 10gm daily|
|Bilberrry||Especially supportive to the blood vessels and structures of the eye.||1gm 3 times daily|
|Hawthorn||Powerful anti-inflammatory that helps stabilise collage and protect blood vessels, helps lower blood pressure.||1gm 3 times daily|
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
Many people with glaucoma have food sensitivities which can lead to higher pressure in the eye. A simple blood test can be done at home to identify problems. Contact Food Detective.
Follow a low sodium diet to reduce blood pressure.
Suggested further reading:
- Glaucoma explained
- Symptoms and treatment