Glaucoma results from increased pressure within the eye, which, in turn, damages the optic nerve and leads to vision loss. It is widely known that there is currently no cure for glaucoma, but what many people want to know is if there is a way to prevent glaucoma. One question we hear a lot is “Does What I Eat Affect My Risk of Glaucoma?” While there is no definitive answer, the Glaucoma Research Foundation has stated that it is reasonable to assume that what you eat and drink may increase or decrease your risk for glaucoma.
Does What I Eat Affect My Risk of Glaucoma?
Many doctors are telling their patients to eat certain foods (and avoid others) to help with health problems, including glaucoma. The recommended foods include:
- Spinach: Because it contains high amounts of the antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthin), spinach may help lower the risk of glaucoma. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high amounts in the eye. In general, doctors recommend adding leafy green vegetables, which are high in vitamin E, to your diet.
- Citrus Fruits: An excellent source of vitamin C, citrus fruits may also be a healthy choice. Blueberries, cherries and tomatoes are also excellent choices, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Lean Meats: Seafood and lean meats are a good source for eye-healthy zinc.
- Herbs: Certain herbs, such as ginkgo biloba and bilberry, may be beneficial for people with glaucoma, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Avoid Caffeine: Too much caffeine may elevate eye pressure temporarily, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
- Avoid High-Calorie Foods: According to the American Optometric Association, high-calorie foods can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which can, in turn, increase your risk for glaucoma.
At the end of the day, the best way to prevent vision loss and manage glaucoma is with regular eye exams. Increased eye pressure and optic nerve irregularities can only be detected with an eye exam, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. And if you wait for symptoms to develop, you could be waiting a long time. Glaucoma may progress with no initial symptoms. As a result, an individual can lose as much as 40% of their vision before even noticing. And the vision loss is irreversible.
Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment
The Anne Arundel Eye Center is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. They can help you too.
Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to managing glaucoma, as it must be treated over the course of one’s life, and high IOP must be managed every day. Treatment successfully preserves vision 95% of the time or more, especially when the condition is caught early.
If you have any questions about Glaucoma Risk or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center, please contact Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or Click Here to fill out our contact form. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube as well!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
Are There Foods That Naturally Treat Glaucoma?, Livestrong.com