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Health > Glaucoma


Glaucoma Fact Sheet

This is a condition where the pressure of the fluid in the eyeball builds up.

What to look for

  • Teary, aching eyes, blurred vision, occasional headaches.
  • A sudden onset of severe throbbing pain, headaches, blurred vision, redness in the eye, dilated pupils, and sometimes nausea and vomiting.
  • In infants, teary or cloudy eyes, unusual sensitivity to light, and enlarged corneas.

Chronic glaucoma, can be extremely painful and can also eventually cause damage to the retina and optic nerve leading to partial or complete blindness.
It may be well established before you notice the warning signs: You have headaches, you need new glasses, you develop tunnel vision, and eventually you develop blank spots where you can't see anything.


The eye's lens, iris, and cornea are continuously bathed and nourished by a water-based fluid called aqueous humor. This fluid is constantly being produced and consequently needs to be continually drained away. And this is what the problem is with glaucoma patients, there is an obstruction to the drainage of the fluid and as a result, pressure builds up and causes problems.
This condition can be genetic, babies can be born with a defect in the drainage system in the eye and can consequently develop glaucoma early in life.
As the optic nerve deteriorates, your field of vision narrows and you have difficulty seeing things at either side. If nerve damage continues, it can affect your central vision and lead ultimately to total blindness.
Researchers believe certain things can trigger this illness…

  • Using certain drugs,
  • a lack of collagen,
  • corticosteroid eye drops (sometimes prescribed for other eye disorders), are thought to destroy collagen balance in certain situations,
  • stress and allergies may aggravate symptoms of chronic glaucoma.

Traditional Treatment

Treatment of chronic glaucoma requires measures to control the flow and drainage of the fluid in the eye. You can help yourself by relieving stress and maintaining collagen production. Acute glaucoma is different: If the pressure of excess fluid in the eye is not relieved quickly, the result can be blindness.
Appropriate therapy depends on the nature and stage of the ailment.
Chronic glaucoma is typically managed with eye drops.
If your chronic glaucoma does not respond to medication, or if you cannot tolerate the side effects, your doctor may recommend another treatment.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Alternative approaches to treating glaucoma emphasise prevention and good eye maintenance. Use this ONLY in addition to conventional medicine.
Herbal Therapies - A variety of herbs have properties that may aid this complaint - Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) helps maintain collagen balance and prevents the breakdown of vitamin C. This is available in tablet form or you can eat the real fruit if available.

Personal Care

Eye exercises may relieve stress and eyestrain caused by overworked eyes and many eye problems, including glaucoma.. - ask your Doctor.
Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake as these two substances may affect blood circulation to the eye.
Avoid cigarette smoke.

Dietary Considerations

Vitamin C apparently helps with this condition so therefore eat foods rich in this vitamin- cauliflower, broccoli, turnip greens, strawberries, grapefruits, and oranges.
Alternatively, you can take supplement of vitamin C daily. Eat foods rich in vitamin A such as liver, kidney, egg yolk, butter, dairy products and cod liver oil. Chromium and zinc may also deter glaucoma, as most people with the disease exhibit deficiencies of these minerals, as well as of thiamine (vitamin B1).

When to seek further professional advice

  • you have symptoms of acute glaucoma.
  • you have abnormal symptoms after taking any medication prescribed by your doctor

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