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Glaucoma is a silent sight thief. The symptoms might not show up before one feels effects of the disease. Regular eye checks are the key to detecting and controlling glaucoma. However, there are also some things you can do to reduce the onset and effects of glaucoma.

Some exercises

While exercise is good and recommended, avoid those that increase Intraocular pressure (IOP). Examples are yoga positions that bring your head lower than your body. Activities like bungee jumping and scuba diving can also raise eye pressure.

Trans fatty acids

Trans fatty acids increase blood cholesterol and damage blood vessels in the body, including the eyes. It can damage the optic nerves. This can worsen the existing glaucoma. Always check the ingredients on food packaging and avoid the ones that have; ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ on the list of ingredients. Avoid baked and fried goodies like doughnuts, cakes, cookies and French fries.

Saturated fat

Check on the list of ingredients and avoid those that contain saturated fat as they cause an increase in weight. This worsens glaucoma by causing other eye conditions. Foods in this category include fatty parts of red meat (beef, lamb, pork). Also, try using olive oil and other low trans types of oil for cooking.

Lots of Coffee

Coffee increases IOP and can cause nerve damage. Substitute with green tea which is full of antioxidants and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, two factors that worsen optic nerve damage.

Simple carbohydrates

For glaucoma patients, keeping a normal insulin level is important. This is because an increase in insulin levels can increase IOP and blood pressure, which worsen the symptoms of glaucoma. It can also lead to bleeding and blockage at the part of the eye where the aqueous which is responsible for IOP ought to drain out, leading to increased IOP.

To still get your required carbohydrate intake and avoid insulin increase, replace simple carbs with complex carbohydrates. Sources of simple carbs include potatoes, bread, rice, baked goods, cereal, pasta, cereal, etc. Eating complex carbs in veggies and beans in place of the above will give you your required daily carbohydrate dose and avoid the insulin challenge of simple carbs.

Some medications

Some medications (eyedrops, tablets, injections and drips) can lead to increase in IOP and worsen the nerve damage in glaucoma patients.  Drugs  that contain STEROIDS are major culprits. It is therefore necessary to let all your healthcare providers know all the medications you are on to avoid worsening your glaucoma.

 

A healthy lifestyle and communicating with your healthcare providers is key to defeating glaucoma and other eye and health challenges. Contact us for more healthy ways to care for your eyes.