Preventing glaucoma from taking a disastrous form requires an early diagnosis and vigilant treatment.
There are more than 3 million glaucoma sufferers in North America alone. Of the two chief variants of glaucoma, primary angle glaucoma which affects more than 80% of glaucoma sufferers, is all the more dangerous because it steals the vision without any symptomatic warning. The loss of vision is peripheral in the beginning which cannot be noticed till it has spread to the central field of vision. Closed angle glaucoma is more acute and hence it is easier to diagnose but it offers lesser time for taking corrective action.
Preventing glaucoma requires the following efforts:
1. Periodic eye check-up:
An early stage identification is the best way to prevent glaucoma. Periodical eye examination for glaucoma is recommended as follows:
- every 2-3 years for people below 40 years of age
- every 1-3 years for people in the age group of 40-55 years
- every 1-2 years for people in the age group of 55-65 years
- every 0.5-1 year for people above 65 years of age
2. Nutritional supplements:
Poor collagen metabolism is one of the prime causes of glaucoma. To prevent glaucoma one must increase Vitamin C intake in the diet . Vitamin C specially those that are rich in lycopene and lutein helps improve collagen metabolism which leads to fast reduction in IOP. Magnesium rich food has also been found to help increase blood supply which helps prevent glaucoma by enhancing the blood supply in the optic nerves. Flavonoid which is commonly found in raspberries and other berries also help in preventing the occurrence of glaucoma. Jabarandi, a medicinal herb found extensively in the Indian subcontinent is also helpful in reducing the chances of Glaucoma. Start avoiding intake of toxic foods including coffee,tea, nicotine etc.
3. Eye exercises:
Eye exercises have been found to be greatly helpful not only in preventing the occurrence of glaucoma but also as a tool to cure or restrict glaucoma from spreading further. Major eye exercises that help to prevent glaucoma include
a) Palming – Covering both the closed eyes with your palms.
b)Visualization - Drawing of imaginary mental images to relax the optic nerves.
c)Eye movement exercise- Moving the eyes too and fro as if tracing the movement of the imaginary pendulum.
These exercises were originally developed by the renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. William A Bates and have since then been modified and developed in the light of modern developments in the field of glaucoma therapy.
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