Health & Medical Eye Health & Optical & Vision

How to Reduce Your Risk of Glaucoma

Some might argue that eye diseases such as glaucoma are not life threatening therefore don't rise to the same level of concern as something like a heart attack or stroke.
On the other hand, many different types of eye disease will lead to a special set of problems which will over due time diminish quality of life and possibly shorten life expectancy.
For example when loss of vision occurs a person will be less likely to read or do other mind stimulating activities (crossword puzzles etc...
) which contributes to serious age related mental health diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Additionally, physical activity levels typically decline increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, weakening of the heart muscle, and immune system deterioration.
Therefore, one could easily make the case that by learning how to reduce your chances of glaucoma you are participating in a form of preventative medicine that will both improve long-term quality of life and life expectancy.
Factoids: Inhaled steroids commonly used to treat asthma appear to raise the risk of glaucoma.
Oral steroids may have the same effect.
Cocaine users have a 45 percent risk for glaucoma.
How to reduce your risk of glaucoma The bad news is that research has yet to provide us with a way to prevent the development of glaucoma.
However, there are a number of lifestyle, diet, and supplement suggestions commonly recommended by doctors to reduce the risk.
How to reduce your risk of glaucoma - Lifestyle Daily exercise.
An increase in intraocular pressure is a major factor in the development of glaucoma.
For years it was thought that exercise actually increased IOP but new studies seem to suggest that the opposite is true.
Don't overdo the caffeine.
Research suggests that high amounts of caffeine may increase eye pressure thus increasing the risk of glaucoma.
Don't smoke.
Smoking tends to decrease circulation and increase pressure in the eye.
How to reduce your risk of glaucoma - Vitamins While there are many vitamins and minerals which contribute to better vision there is no evidence to suggests that they prevent glaucoma, or for that matter delay its progress.
On the other hand, so little research has been conducted in this area the truth is no one really knows for sure.
*Vitamins and minerals that may help with eye health are carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, vitamins A, B and D, and zinc.
How to reduce your risk of glaucoma - Omega 3 Fatty Acids While no major research has been done on glaucoma and omega 3 fatty acids.
There has been research conducted on macular degeneration.
The study involved 3000 people over the age of 49.
The study found that those who consumed more fish high in the omega fatty acids DHA and EPA were less likely to have the disease.
It is important to point out that it seems alpha-lenolenic acid (ALA) found in nuts, seeds, and flax actually increased the risk of macular degeneration.
So if you are thinking about omega 3 fatty acids for eye health try to stay with high DHA/EPA sources such as cold water fatty fish and fish oil supplements.
How to reduce your risk of glaucoma - Herbs According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine the two herbs that seem to stand out are bilberry and ginkgo biloba.
Bilberry seems to be the more effective of the two likely due to its high concentration of flavonoid and anthocyanidin compounds.
That said, ginkgo biloba extract was able to reduce intraocular pressure and improve visual field at a dosage of 160 mg per day according to a forty-six patient study.
What else? Additional suggestions on how to reduce your risk of glaucoma include maintaining a healthy body weight, keeping blood pressure at normal levels, preventing overexposure to sunlight, and regular eye exams.

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