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  • Writer's pictureJantz Chappel

Glaucoma and nutrition

I get this question a lot "Is there anything I can do in my diet or a vitamin I can take to help reduce the risk of glaucoma or help with my glaucoma?" I have always said sadly there is no conclusive evidence of anything working. That answer is true but their some studies that might be a little promising. The nice thing is National Institutes of Health in 2020 doing large studies on nutrition and health to get down to what actually helps you want what doesn't. We are going to talk about primary open-angle glaucoma. Their multiple types of glaucoma but this type is by far the most common. Why glaucoma actually happens is actually not fully understood but the main theory is that pressure goes up in the eye that compresses the optic nerve and then the retinal ganglion cell doesn't receive enough blood flow and dies. This causes peripheral vision loss and possibly central vision loss. This is a gross simplification of the theory. So the only way we know for sure to treat glaucoma is to lower the pressure in the eyes (IOP [Intraocular pressure]). Only one nutrition study I know of has shown to do that. It was a high dose of Omega 3. If you have been in my office you know I push omega 3 a lot for dry eye. When I got omega 3 in the office my employees said you recommend it for everyone I'm surprised you didn't get these sooner lol. This has been shown to decrease the average IOP of 14.3 mm of hg to 13.6 mm of hg in 3 months. We normally want a 30% drop from glaucoma medication so 5% isn't much but it is something. A Study has shown people on Omega 3 are less likely to have glaucoma but again this isn't conclusive for many reasons. The next nutritional items haven't been shown to decrease IOP but are more theorized to help. Low levels of Vitamin C and D have been shown more likely to have glaucoma. A diet of large amounts of green leafy vegetables has been shown to be less likely to have glaucoma. The theory is Nitric oxide in vegetables helps decrease the risk. Actually, new glaucoma medication like Vyzulta uses nitric oxide. The last one I'm going to talk about is CoQ10 which has been shown to decrease oxidative stress that can be caused by glaucoma.



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