Glaucoma is the silent thief that steals the lamp of the body – the eyes. It is an eye disorder caused by the high pressure in the eye known as intraocular pressure (IOP). This occurs when the eye’s drainage system is blocked by aqueous humor, the fluid in the eye. If glaucoma will not be treated, this will result to permanent vision loss. Though there is no absolute cure for this eye disorder, treatments can be done. Together with medical treatments, there are some glaucoma alternative treatment that can be done to avoid the worst outcome.
There are some herbal plants which have already established beneficial effects to persons who have glaucoma. One of these herbal plants is the Jaborandi (Policarpus Jaborand), found on the northeastern part of Brazil. Its leaves contain alkaloid pilocarpin, a substance that is capable of lowering the intraocular pressure within the eye of the person. Eye drops were also made from Jaborandi and are also prescribe by doctors to treat glaucoma. Pilocarpine causes iris contraction to lessen the clog of eye fluids since the space between the iris and the cornea will open.
Another herbal remedy is Ginkgo biloba, an extract from the native China tree ginkgo tree. Studies show that the herb Ginkgo biloba improves the blood flow of all tissues, including the eye, without affecting the intraocular pressure. In some individuals who suffer glaucoma, it also improves pre-existing visual field damage.
In Europe, a popular herbal remedy for glaucoma is Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). Bilberry is high in beta-carotine, vitamin C, flavonoids and other antioxidants. Because of these, it strengthens the vascular tissue around the retina which stimulates circulation around the eyes. It also aids in night vision problems. These herbal medicines are only a few of those herbal plants that aid in glaucoma alternative treatment but should be taken with proper prescription by doctors.
Food and nutrition
A proper diet will not just be good for the health but also for the eyes. Eating foods that are rich with the antioxidants luetien and zeaxanthin, vitamins A, C, and E, and zinc help those with eye disorders. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin help to keep the lens, retina and pigment of the eye healthy. Spinach, parsley, broccoli, celery, lettuce, and cucumbers are some of the foods rich with these antioxidants. Vitamin A, known as the eye-healthy vitamin, promotes normal vision. Milk, carrots, and sweet potato are good sources of Vitamin A. Citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C have healing properties of tissues that contributes to the slow development of glaucoma. Vegetable oils, wheat and other cereal grains are good sources of Vitamin E which protects the body from oxidative cell damage. Further, drinking too much caffeine and eating fatty foods is not advised to individuals with glaucoma because this increases eye pressure.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a key for prevention and treatment. With the advancement of science and technology, glaucoma alternative treatment should go hand in hand with medical treatment for better results.