written by: AlyssaAst
• edited by: dianahardin
• updated: 5/12/2011
Natural vitamins for glaucoma appear to assist in slowing the progression of vision loss in patients with this condition. Most effective are Vitamin A, C, E and zinc.
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Glaucoma occurs when too much fluid accumulates in the eye, causing pressure to build. With the increased pressure within the eye, known as intraocular pressure, optic nerve damage can develop. This changes how images are transmitted to the brain. When left untreated, the eye pressure can progress to the point where total blindness occurs. This is a permanent condition and can happen within only a few years.
Glaucoma rarely produces any symptoms, until the later stages of the condition; therefore, annual visits to an ophthalmologist are essential, especially for those over 40 years of age. Glaucoma is considered to be inherited and typically doesn’t occur until later in life. Anyone can suffer from this condition, though. Natural vitamins appear to slow the progression of Glaucoma, prolonging vision.
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Vitamins to Improve Glaucoma
While there’s no conclusive evidence that natural vitamins can actually slow the progression of glaucoma, clinical studies have concluded that certain vitamins are effective for improving the condition. The vitamins that seem to be most effective in treating this condition include vitamins A, C, E and zinc. These vitamins can be acquired as a supplement or naturally, through a balanced diet.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is important for bone growth and vision. Categorized as a retinoid, vitamin A is found in plant and animal sources as either retinyl esters or carotenoids, which are then converted to retinol by tissue cells. Food sources for vitamin A include liver, eggs, cheddar cheese and whole milk. Plant sources for vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, red peppers and mustard greens.
Vitamin C is another vitamin that appears to be effective in minimizing the effects of glaucoma. Vitamin C is thought to decrease the internal eye pressure that causes the eye condition. Vitamin C for glaucoma appears to be more effective when it’s combined with the natural substance known as bioflavonoid. The bioflavonoid known as rutin has been shown to be the most effective. Sources for vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and cantaloupe.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant, which is known to improve immunity and inflammatory cells. It also appears to improve retinal blood flow. Vitamin E is found naturally in a number of sources, such as eggs, milk and butter. Vegetable oils, especially wheat germ oil, are rich in vitamin E. Other sources of vitamin E include meats, nuts, seafood and avocados.
Zinc is needed by the body to properly utilize vitamin A. It is also essential to DNA and RNA. Zinc allows the body to grow and maintain healthy body tissues. Zinc is found in a wide variety of natural products, such as lean meats, seafood and eggs. Other sources for zinc include leafy green vegetables, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, whole bran and whole bran cereals. Cheese and oysters are also great sources for zinc.
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"Easing the Pressure," http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/10/64.cfm
"Glaucoma and Your Eyes," http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes