You have heard people talk about alternative glaucoma treatments before, ranging from increased exercise to antioxidants to gingko biloba. No matter the treatment, you have one question, “Do Alternative Glaucoma Treatments Work?” Unfortunately, there is little data to support the use of alternative treatments to prevent or treat glaucoma. Still, it is estimated that 5-15% of glaucoma patients take some form of alternative medication.
Alternative Glaucoma Treatments
- Exercise: While moderate exercise has been shown to lower intraocular eye pressure (IOP) and improve blood supply to the optic nerve, there is no evidence that exercise has any impact on preventing visual field loss from glaucoma.
- Antioxidants: Some researchers suggest that antioxidants – Vitamin C, beta-Carotene, Vitamin E, etc. – may be helpful in managing glaucoma. However, none of these have passed the demands of clinical studies.
- Gingko Biloba: One study suggested that taking 120 mg of ginkgo daily for 8 weeks could help impede the development of glaucoma, lower IOP, improve mitochondrial function, and improve vision. However, no concrete evidence exists to support these claims.
- Acupuncture: Some glaucoma sufferers turn to meditation and acupuncture to manage their symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that these methods are actually effective.
At the end of the day, the best way to manage glaucoma is with regular eye exams to detect and track the progression of the eye disease, and prescription glaucoma medication. With the current treatment options available – and especially with good careful follow-up – it is unusual to lose vision from glaucoma. In fact, just 5% of all glaucoma patients go totally blind.
Anne Arundel Eye Center, Specializing in Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment
With no known cure for the eye disease, early detection and treatment is your best defense against vision loss.
The Anne Arundel Eye Center is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Dr. Samuel Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
If you have any questions about our blog, “Do Alternative Glaucoma Treatments Work?” please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrists Dr. Nathan Frank and Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists at the Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or visiting AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today. 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.
- Alternative Therapies for Glaucoma Glaucoma Research Foundation
- Gingko Biloba: More than Meets the Eye
- Gingko Biloba University of Maryland Medical Center