4 Conditions That Can Contribute to Glaucoma

Hypothyroidism

A study of 600 men with recent a diagnosis of glaucoma were shown to be twice as likely to have hypothyroidism than a similar portion of the population without the eye disease.  Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Birmingham, Alabama assert that there seems to be a convincing correlation be correlation between glaucoma and an under-active thyroid.

When this study was published the authors were not ready to state whether thyroid replacement therapy would help fend off glaucoma.

We recommend considering natural approaches to the treatment of hypothryoidism including iodine supplementation and limiting exposure to lead and other chemicals.

Source: scienceblog.com

Hypertension
Researchers tie blood pressure and ocular perfusion pressure to glaucoma

Although intraocular pressure (IOP) is considered a primary risk factor for the development of glaucoma, there is evidence to suggest that glaucoma may continue to progress despite lowering patients’ IOP to targeted levels.

Several recent studies point to vascular risk factors in the development of glaucoma. This new research indicates that blood pressure (BP) and ocular perfusion pressure have become increasingly important in understanding and treating glaucoma.

Although doctors cannot currently visualize ocular blood flow directly, they can easily measure glaucoma patients’ BP and IOP to calculate their ocular perfusion pressure and quantify the vascular changes.

An article published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology explores the relationships between BP and IOP, BP and glaucoma, and perfusion pressure and glaucoma. Study authors suggest that ocular perfusion pressure and its fluctuation may be parameters that need to be measured in the treatment of glaucoma patients.

Learn more about glaucoma, including self-help tips

SOURCE: Blood Pressure and Glaucoma, Costa, et al, Br J Ophthalmol, 30 March 2009, doi:10.1136/bjo.2008.149047.

Thyroid Link
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham believe that thyroid disorders may increase the risk of glaucoma. Their study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, reviewed data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey to quantify the association between a self-reported diagnosis of glaucoma and a self-reported history of thyroid problems.

Of the 12,376 survey participants, 4.6% reported glaucoma, and 11.9% reported a history of thyroid problems. The prevalence of glaucoma among those who reported thyroid problems was 6.5% compared with 4.4% among those who did not report thyroid problems. This association between glaucoma and thyroid problems remained after adjusting for differences in age, gender, race and smoking status.

The results of this study lend support to the hypothesis that thyroid disorders may increase the risk of glaucoma. Although further research on the topic is expected, study authors suspect that hypothyroidism may diminish outflow in the eye.

SOURCE: The association between thyroid problems and glaucoma, Cross, et al, British Journal of Ophthalmology 2008;92:1503-1505.

Herpes Virus
Three of the eight strains of the herpes virus can cause vision loss, including varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox and also shingles, and herpes simplex virus-1 and -2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2). Shingles, which can affect older adults who have had chickenpox earlier in their lives, is marked by a rash that wraps around one side of the body, generally on the face or trunk. When the rash appears on the face it can affect the corneal tissue and this can lead to keratitis (inflammation and scarring of the cornea), inflammation of the retina or optic nerve, glaucoma, or cataracts, any of which may also result in blurred vision or blindness.

Both HSV-1 (transferred through saliva) and HSV-2 (genital) can cause ocular herpes, a recurrent infection, and the most common cause of corneal blindness in the United States. Once people develop ocular herpes, they have a 50% chance of recurrence within weeks or years, possibly triggered by fever, stress, sunlight, or eye injury. Approximately 400,000 Americans have ocular herpes, with 50,000 new or recurring cases every year. In 12% of cases, both eyes are affected.

Source: http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/reports/vision/1538-1.html