Natural Home Remedies for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve and decreases peripheral vision gradually.

Image of a tunnel with an eyeball in the center

If you do not have your vision checked, you may not know until damage has already occurred that you are at risk. A known risk factor is high intra-ocular pressure, but glaucoma can exist with normal pressure as well. Alternatively, some with high pressure do not have glaucoma.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • At first, one will be asymptomatic
  • After damage begins, one will lose peripheral vision.
  • When the pressure in the eye is severe you may have:
  • As the field of vision narrows, people may miss objects to the side as well as above and below. This can cause trips off curbs, bumping your head into obstacles overhead. Others will surprise you when they enter your field of vision because they are already very close when they appear from the side.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Eye drops of varying kinds are prescribed for glaucoma. They are designed to manipulate the fluid output in your eyes. The goal is to reduce pressure, but to stop the flow of aqueous humor is to stop the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the eye. There are side effects to every single one of them. In the prostaglandin class of drops, the side effects may be negligible compared to losing vision. Other classes of medications may cause damage to heart and lungs, et. There are also surgeries with varying levels of success. You will want to do careful research into the drugs and procedures that are recommended to you so you can make a wise choice.

There is no medical cure and there are no miracle cures claimed with home treatment. With medical treatment, however, vision loss can be slowed or stopped.

SELF TREATMENT

The substances and suggestions here are offered to you for further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and disorder. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING OR LOWER RISK

  • Bone broth
  • Lutein-rich foods
  • Omega 3-rich foods
  • Flavanol-rich foods
  • High antioxidant foods
  • Retinol-rich foods (milk, liver, cheese, butter)
  • Leafy greens
  • Cabbages
  • Carrots
  • Fruits
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mangoes
  • Indian gooseberry
  • Guava
  • Pumpkin
  • Papaya
  • Tomato
  • Strawberry
  • Bananas
  • Flaxseed

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol lowers pressure temporarily but regular use is associated with higher pressure
  • Caffeine raises intra-ocular pressure temporarily.
  • Drinking large amounts of water at once can raise eye pressure.
  • Excessive salt
  • Smoking increases risk; nicotine is an optic nerve toxin. If you smoke, consider a B12 supplement.
  • Exposure to chemicals

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Bilberry
  • Green tea and black tea for prevention but avoid caffeine if you already have glaucoma.

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Bilberry
  • Calarbar Bean
  • Coleus Forskohlii
  • Curcumin
  • Gingko biloba
  • Rose hip juice
  • Triphala churna

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut on the skin, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Don’t put oils directly in your eyes unless you find specific and reliable information that it is safe for a specific oil.

  • Clove with lemon
  • Cypress
  • Evening primrose
  • Eyebright
  • Frankincense–Someone reported lowered pressure from putting a drop of this oil in the palm of your hand and placing that over the affected eye; be sure not to get any oil in your eye if you try this;
  • Glaucoma essential oil recipes online
  • Helichrysum
  • Hemp or hemp oil
  • Lemongrass

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Astaxanthin
  • Bilberry
  • Calcium
  • Co Q10
  • Magnesium
  • Multivitamin
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Stay hydrated but don’t drink large quantities of water at one time as it may increase optic pressure.  Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

Take a brisk 45” walk every day. Exercise has been found to lower IOP. Studies show that it improves blood flow to the retina and optic nerve. In one study, jogging for 20 minutes lowered IOP by 1-8 mm Hg. Weight lifting also led to decreases. Exercise only works while you do it. I’ve read conflicting reports about the length of time you will retain the benefits after quitting your exercise program, but you will eventually lose your gains. Keep it up.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stress increases intra-ocular pressure. Stay calm. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Hemp oil
  • Jaborandi oil or jaborandi in a homeopathic preparation
  • Maintain healthy adrenals.
  • MSM eye drops (purported to make the eyeball more flexible)
  • Raise the head of your bed 30 degrees (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274296/).
  • Exercises for the eyes.
    • Zooming–focus on your thumb and move it slowly closer and then farther away, continuing to focus.
    • Trace an imaginary horizontal figure 8 with your eyes to strengthen and increase muscle flexibility.
    • Palming-cover your eyes with the palms of your hands to relax your eyes.  Keep the eyes free from pressure, cupping your palms with fingers resting on your forehead and the heels of your hands against cheekbones.  Keep blinking regularly.
    • Take blinking breaks when computing or watching television.  Blink every few seconds for a couple of minutes to relieve pressure.
    • Some people (even a doctor or two) recommend colloidal silver drops for glaucoma and cataracts but others (more doctors and scientists) caution against them. It might be worth a little research.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Face-down massage will increase eye pressure,
  • Head-down positions increase eye pressure (some yoga positions),
  • Marijuana lowers eye pressure for 3-4 hours but there is no evidence that it alters the course of the disease and there are side effects with use.
  • Playing wind instruments increases eye pressure.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet high in the foods on the healing list
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep

NOTES

  • A lack of digestive enzymes has been associated with malabsorption of thiamine. A lack of thiamin causes optic nerve damage.
  • Certain types of glaucoma have been associated with autoimmune disorders.  Histamine may produce elevated IOP.  It might be useful to have food allergy tests.
  • Some researchers think that Vitamin A works to maintain an open drain within the eye..
  • One scholarly article suggests a relationship between iron overload and glaucoma (nothing proven but it’s interesting).There are studies underway to test (on mice) the hypothesis that decreasing lifetime iron stores through dietary limitation may decrease oxidative damage.

 

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