Antioxidants (2016, 2008) & Glaucoma


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An independent review of the literature and recent research finds that the problems that give rise to blockage of the trabecular meshwork and glaucoma are largely related to and/or aggravated by oxidative stress. The review suggests that new research look more closely into the role of various specific antioxidants and their efficacy in addressing the problem.

Researchers: J. Zhao, et al,
Published: Oxidative stress in the trabecular meshwork, International Journal of Molecular Medicine, October 2016.

Researchers investigate the role of antioxidants in fighting glaucoma. They point out that the degeneration of the optic nerve in glaucoma causes problems above and beyond the eye itself. Since the optic nerve is a direct connection with the visual cortex and the rest of the brain, such degeneration can extend there. They point out that neurons are destroyed because of oxidative stress, inflammation of the optic nerve, and damage due to overstimulation of the optic nerve. They point to use of antioxidants as one of a variety of therapies that are not being used to delay further worsening of the condition although lowering intraocular pressure is the only direct focus. It is felt that more adequately protecting the optic nerve in the first place is the best means of reversing or halting progression of glaucoma.

Researchers: A.C. Gauthier, J. Liu
Published: Neurodegeneration and Neuroprotection in Glaucoma, The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, March, 2016.


An independent study finds that the antioxidants vitamin E and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may reduce the progression of glaucoma. Additionally noted is that effectively reducing or even reversing oxidation may facilitate a healing response in the trabecular meshwork or outflow pathway in the eyes of glaucoma patients. A key suspect in the progression of POAG is local oxidative stress. Oxidative free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are reported to trigger degeneration in the trabecular meshwork, subsequently leading to increases in IOP and glaucoma.

"The finding of a protective effect of vitamin E and N-acetyl cysteine (a key component of glutathione) adds to the growing evidence that antioxidants are beneficial in POAG and are worthy of further investigation." Dr. Yuan He

Reference: Yuan He, et al. Mitochondrial Complex I defect induces ROS release and degeneration in trabecular meshwork cells of POAG patients: Protection by antioxidants, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 49:1447-58, 2008.