Preventing Glaucoma and Keeping Your Vision Healthy
By Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac.
Are you a heavy computer user?
You'd be wise to consider your vulnerability to glaucoma.
When your parents, said, "eat all of your carrots -- they're good for your eyes" they were correct. As scientists and doctors document the reality of "we are what we eat," the importance of good nutrition to having strong vision and healthy eyes is more and more evident.
Start your glaucoma prevention and treatment programs by considering diet. More than a quarter of all the nutrients our bodies absorb goes to nourish the visual system: your eyes, their arteries and veins, their nerves and the tissues that comprise and support vision. When researchers look at the concentrations of nutrients at various locations in the body (indicating the importance of that nutrient for that part of physiology) they find that certain nutrients are found more concentratedly in the eyes than anywhere else in the body. For example, in healthy eyes, the concentration of vitamin C is higher than just about anywhere else. So, it's no surprise that good nutrition is critical to prevention and treatment of eye conditions such as computer eye strain, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eyes, and macular degeneration.
The diet we recommend emphasizes a wide variety of non-refined, whole foods with an emphasis on vegetables and fruits. Your body doesn't use minerals and vitamins in isolation. If just a single nutrient is missing it can negatively impact the ability of your body to use a different nutrient, or even a class of nutrients.
Here are some examples.
- Calcium In order to absorb and use calcium the body also needs magnesium and vitamin D.
- Vitamin A In order to make use of all of the vitamin A you consume, you also need to have adequate amounts of zinc.
- B Vitamins In order to absorb and make use of any of the B vitamins, you need all of them, working together synergistically.
This is why it is important to keep your diet broad and eat a variety of whole foods.
If you eat junk foods and processed sugar and other starches, your body may get temporary fullness, and temporary energy, but your body loses a marked amount of nutrients in the process either directly or indirectly. For example.
- White Sugar As your body tries to burn white sugar it uses up or loses a lot of chromium and B vitamins.
So, consuming the nutrients you need through healthy food is, if possible, one of the best ways keep good vision.
About 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of them know they have it. There are no symptoms to warn individuals that they have glaucoma - it can only be detected in vision examinations. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve in a characteristic way. The end result is loss of peripheral, or side, vision, which can result in blindness if untreated. The damage results from having chronic high intraocular pressure within the eyeball. The normal range is 10 to 22 mm/Hg.
For example, suppose you are 56 years old and your eye pressure is considered borderline high - 26 and 27 mm/Hg To help evaluate your condition, your ophthamologist looks at the health of your optic nerve and performs a visual fields test which maps your peripheral vision. If both are find, then your doctor will monitor it periodically, or may prescribe medication to lower the pressure. Eye doctors rarely, consider natural methods of lowering eye pressure -- and are quite surprised when they see such beneficial results.
I just saw my eye m.d. ... he was astounded by my vision improvement ... this is a direct quote (and he doesn't astonish easily) - "whatever you are doing keep on doing it." And my eye pressures were 10 and 11. I've been [using] Coleus Forskohlii, ... Advanced Eye and Vision Support ... [and] Optic Nerve Support. ... read complete review
Diet in a Glaucoma Treatment Program
The program that Dr. Grossman prescribes includes changes to diet, supplementing with key nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C, as well as a plan of exercise. Research has demonstrated that all of these factors naturally lower intraocular pressure. without medication. For more detailed information see Glaucoma Conditions Recommendations
In addition to nutrition the following is important to keep your eyes healthy.
- Switch your focus from time to time. Look outside when on the computer or engaged in close work in order to rest your eyes. Close focus means that your eye muscles are contracted. Eye contraction, sustained without a break, also causes upper body and neck contraction.
- Remember to blink. Without noticing it, (especially when on the computer) we stare continuously without blinking. Not only does this cause the surface tear film of the eyes to evaporate bringing discomfort, but the unbroken stare stresses the vision system.
- Get a minimum of 20 minutes of natural daylight everyday. Take a walk. If you don't have time, but drive to work, park a little further from your office and walk to your office. You are designed to sense light. Getting sunlight is very important for their optimal functioning.
- Wear protective UV sunglasses to shield your eyes from damage from blue light.
- Stop smoking! Non-smokers are far less at risk for eye disease than smokers
- Lower alcohol and sugar consumption.
I hope this will be helpful in having you keep your treasured gift of sight all your life. For more information you can contact Dr. Marc Grossman or call 845-255-8222.
Dr. Grossman, OD, L.Ac. a leading holistic eye doctor, has been in practice since 1980. He is the author of 5 books on natural eye care including the following: co-author of Magic Eye - A 3D Guide, (Andrews and McMeel, 1995), Greater Vision (McGraw Hill) printed in September, 2005, and Natural Eye Care: A Comprehensive Manual for Practitioners of Oriental Medicine, which is a 230-page manual describing both the Western and Eastern approaches to preserving eyesight for over 20 specific eye conditions. Magic Eye - Beyond 3D : Improve Your Vision with Magic Eye by Marc Grossman (Author), Magic Eye Inc. (Author), and his most
recent book "Natural Eye Care: Your Guide to Healthy Vision" (Vision Works Media Services, Inc.)
printed in November, 2007.