First, let me say that glaucoma is, in large part, but not exclusively, an increase in the fluid pressure in the eye.  Medications or laser surgeries can decrease pressure.  So, often, can cataract surgery.  I’m not quite as impressed with the cataract surgery implantable drain plugs as I’d like.  But, in general, they seem to help.

Let me take a little different direction, though, since glaucoma is certainly not my specialty.  That direction is, what can you do to help yourself out?  

First, get some exercise.  I know.  Everyone in health care tells you that.  But there’s honest-to-goodness research that exercise reduces eye pressure.  So, get some aerobic exercise, staying within your reasonable limits.

After you exercise, try some relaxation meditation.  In 2018 there was a paper in the Journal of Glaucoma that suggested you can reduce your eye pressure by 25% with meditation.  I suspect all the stress in your life isn’t going to go away, but if meditation reduces stress and eye pressure, maybe try to reduce the stress a little???

Then take your vitamins.  I’m also not a vitamin guru, but these have shown up in our research or in the glaucoma lectures I’ve attended.  Real research supports resveratrol in glaucoma.  Resveratrol is found naturally in red wine, Welch’s grape juice, and peanuts.  Now you know the snacks for your next Gonzaga-watching party.

Co-Q 10 and Ginko Biloba are thought to help.  Curcumin (turmeric) is interesting to me.  Supposedly curcumin helps with inflammation, but it has also been mentioned as maybe helping in glaucoma.  In the same week a few years ago, I received an editorial from a local general doctor talking about how there was no evidence to support using curcumin for arthritic kinds of things, and then also a paper abstract where some Europeans were trying to use nanoparticles to drag curcumin into the eye to help out optic nerve problems like glaucoma.  Their research was triggered by some other research showing curcumin might be helpful in spinal cord injuries.  Who knew??

The bottom line: it looks like exercise, meditative stress reduction, and some supplements might help counteract the effects of glaucoma to some degree.  These things are not a get-out-of-jail-free card if you have glaucoma.  But they might help.  And, as I’ve said for a while, “been a long time since I killed anyone with a vitamin.”

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