Natural Remedies for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can creep up on you over time due to optic degeneration and a build up of pressure inside the eyes.
Glaucoma steals your vision gradually but effectively. While there are no known definitive medical cures for glaucoma, there are strategies for reducing your risk of developing the disease and some natural steps you can take to heal your eyes and support regeneration.
It’s important to understand the different types of glaucoma, before you look into natural treatment for glaucoma.
There are two main types of glaucoma and seven additional types, each of which can be caused by very different factors but still leave you with damage to one of your most important senses.
1. Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
This is the most common form of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans. It happens when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time with plaque. Because the correct amount of fluid cannot drain out of the eye, the inner eye pressure, also called intraocular pressure or IOP, rises.
With open angle glaucoma, the entrances to the drainage canals are clear and should be working correctly. The clogging problem occurs inside the drainage canals, like the clogging that can occur inside the pipe below the drain in a sink.
For most people there are no symptoms and no early warning signs. It can cause a gradual loss of vision, if open angle glaucoma is not diagnosed and treated.
2. Angle Closure Glaucoma
This type of glaucoma is also known as acute glaucoma or narrow angle glaucoma. It is much rarer and is very different from open angle glaucoma. With angle closure glaucoma, the eye pressure usually goes up very fast. This is caused by the iris and cornea not being as wide and open as they should be; when the pupil enlarges too much or too quickly, the outer edge of the iris bunches up over the drainage canals. This can happen when entering a dark room.
Symptoms of angle closure glaucoma may include headaches, eye pain, nausea, rainbows around lights at night and very blurred vision.
3. Normal Tension Glaucoma (NTG)
Normal tension glaucoma is also known as low tension glaucoma or normal pressure glaucoma. In this type of glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged even though intraocular pressure (IOP) is not very high.
4. Secondary Glaucoma
Eye injury, inflammation, tumor or in advanced cases of cataract or diabetes can result in the formation of glaucoma. It can also be caused by certain drugs such as steroids. This form of glaucoma may be mild or severe.
5. Pigmentary Glaucoma
This is a form of secondary open angle glaucoma. It occurs when the pigment granules in the back of the iris break off into the clear fluid produced inside the eye. Causing eye pressure to rise, these tiny pigment granules flow toward the drainage canals in the eye and slowly clog them.
6. Traumatic Glaucoma
Caused by an injury to the eye, this is another form of secondary open angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur both immediately after an injury to the eye or years later. It can be caused by blunt trauma injuries, which “bruise” the eye, and injuries that penetrate the eye.
7. Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma
This is a form of secondary open angle glaucoma. It occurs when a flaky, dry plaque, dandruff like material peels off the outer layer of the lens within the eye. Causing eye pressure to rise, the material collects in the angle between the cornea and iris and can clog the drainage system of the eye. This type of glaucoma has long been recognized as common in those of Scandinavian descent.
8. Neovascular Glaucoma
This is a form of secondary open angle glaucoma. It is caused by the abnormal formation of new blood vessels on the iris and over the eye’s drainage channels. This type of glaucoma never occurs on its own and is always associated with other abnormalities, most often diabetes. Causing an increase in eye pressure, the new blood vessels block the eye’s fluid from exiting through the trabecular meshwork.
9. Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)
This is a rare form of glaucoma, which usually is found in only one eye. In this condition, cells on the back surface of the cornea spread across the surface of the iris as well as over the eye’s drainage tissue. This causes an increase in eye pressure, which can damage the optic nerve. These cells also form adhesions that bind the iris to the cornea, further blocking the drainage channels. ICE occurs more frequently in light-skinned females. Symptoms can include the appearance of halos around lights and hazy vision upon awakening.
10. Natural Treatments
One of the best options for natural treatment for glaucoma is to give your body a chance to heal by fasting.
Eyesight is a function that responds exceptionally well to extended fasting on fresh juices or water.
An effective remedy than help ease the impact of poor eye sight, is to do a ten-day carrot juice and water fast 3-4 times per year. This will help your body flush out the toxins that could be worsening your glaucoma and give it a chance to focus its energy on healing. The carotenoids in carrots supply vital nutrients to the eyes and optic nerves which can also support the healing process.
Learn more in Fasting: What You Should Know.
Try and eat as many fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens, because these green, chlorophyll-rich vegetables contain vitamins A, B, C and E) as you can to help with natural treatment for glaucoma. Vegetables, fruit, citrus, soy and grasses promote overall eye health because they strengthen the capillaries that prevent lens damage.
Grapes, grape seeds and the berry family contain plenty of anthocyanins and pro-anthocyanins, which protect our eyes against cell degeneration by improving the integrity of the capillaries that supply blood to the retina. Juices made from carrots, kale, spinach, tomatoes and melons area delicious way to get eye-essential carotenoids.
Learn more in Fruit & Vegetable Juicing: What You Should Know.
For pain relief, buy a glass eyecup at a pharmacy or health food store and an herb called "eye bright". Follow the directions for drinking it as a tea and then strain it for an eye rinse. At night, you can also put one drop of carrot seed oil in each eye and go to bed.
Tip: For every day comfort, eye rinsing and hygiene, use Eye of Horus Chemical-Free Saline Eye Drops
Sunlight is also an important factor in prolonging the health of your eyes. Whilst staring directly into the sun in the heat of the day can cause damage to your eyes, gently exposing your face to indirect sunlight, particularly in the early part of the day, allows eyes to become accustomed to natural light.
Wearing sunglasses excessively might be fashionable, but over use does little to nourish and heal the eyes. It's important that your eyes receive a certain amount of exposure to natural sunlight - when this occurs, the electrical bio photons of light enter the brain and provide vital nutrients to the visual cortex and optic nerves which support healthy long-term vision.
11. Causes of Eye Issues
Natural treatment for glaucoma could include prevention. There are different reasons why trauma to the eye can occur, which can lead to eye diseases down the line. Infection, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and foods and environmental factors can all lead to eye damage. Diseases in other parts of the body can also cause changes in the eyes.
Artificial sweeteners, hard alcohol, processed lactose, tobacco, steroids, mercury and excessive computer use can all cause eye strain and reduce vision.
Avoiding these hazards can help you protect the eyes as well as the rest of your body. To reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, avoid smoking in particular.
Important: Eye safety and taking care of your vision should be a life long priority.
This includes at home, in the workplace, while playing or watching sports, and outdoors. Keep your eyes safe and prevent needless eye injuries. Wear safety glasses when an activity puts your eyes in harm’s way.
Learn more in Eyes & Sight: How to Keep Your Vision Healthy.
Glaucoma can significantly impact your life, but by following some of these natural steps, you can drastically reduce the pain or discomfort you might be experiencing.
Like in anything, prevention is key by leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods, and avoiding risk hazards that can damage your eyes.
Tolman Self Care.