Glaucoma, a condition that affects the eyes, can be quite serious and even result in blindness. The older you become, the more prone you are to developing glaucoma. Glaucoma patients typically range between 45 and 64 years of age.
Glaucoma can strike without warning and without symptoms. There is no cure for glaucoma, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent it. This can be done through nutrition and diet, which can deter the onset of this eye condition.
Risk factors for glaucoma
It’s important to recognize what puts you at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Risk factors for glaucoma include:
- Age – as mentioned, glaucoma strikes individuals midway to later in life
- Elevated internal eye pressure
- Ethnicity – glaucoma is more common among African Americans and Asians
- Family history of glaucoma
- Medical conditions – diabetes, heart disease
- Other eye conditions – eye tumors, retinal detachment
- Long-term corticosteroid use
Natural home remedies for glaucoma
Here are some home remedies you can try to help improve your glaucoma.
- Eat a healthy diet – see a list of foods to aid in glaucoma below.
- Exercise regularly, but safely – certain exercises can increase intraocular pressure.
- Limit your intake of caffeine as it can increase eye pressure.
- Drink moderate amounts of fluid throughout the day – drinking large amounts of fluid in a short amount of time may increase eye pressure.
- Sleep with your head elevated.
- Take medications as prescribed.
Glaucoma diet: Foods to eat and avoid
Let’s first look at the different foods to add to your diet for proper nutrition to aid with glaucoma. These foods come packed with many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help fight off free radical damage.
When you are putting together a diet for glaucoma prevention, you will want to consider foods high in phytonutrients, rich in vitamins, and foods with good fat (omegas and monounsaturated). Specific foods to add to your diet for glaucoma prevention are:
- Citrus fruits
- Brussels sprouts
- Wheat and grains
- Leafy greens
- Milk fat
- Organ meats
- Cheddar cheese
- Sweet potato
Sticking with whole foods is the best form of prevention against glaucoma, as whole foods can provide the highest amount of the nutrients your eyes require.
Foods to avoid (they can increase your risk of glaucoma) include:
- Foods you are allergic to
These food items can make your body toxic and rob your eyes of the nutrients they require.
Although some risk factors for glaucoma can’t be avoided (age, ethnicity, and family history), you can still improve your odds by eating the foods listed above and incorporating them into a glaucoma prevention diet.