Foods that Lower Your Risk of Glaucoma

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An estimated 60 million people worldwide are living with glaucoma. A large portion of that number is unaware that they have glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. While there are risk factors that make you more prone to glaucoma, it can happen to anyone.

Although many studies have been done, and are continuing to be done, we are still unsure of the main cause of glaucoma. We do know that glaucoma is a result of high intraocular pressure, but what remains unknown is what exactly causes the intraocular pressure in the first place. However, we do know that a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of glaucoma

Saved by the Plate

Here are specific foods thought to lower your risk of glaucoma:

1. Flavonoid-rich foods

Among all flavonoid-rich foods, green tea, red wine, and cocoa occupy the first three ranks on the list. Flavonoid-rich foods have been proven to help people with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Studies show that flavonoids, polyphenol compounds present in plants, have effective neuroprotective functions and thereby improve and slow the progression of visual field loss. Glaucoma surgeons in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Glendale advocate dietary management as part of glaucoma prevention.

2. Eggplant

It has been found that eggplant can significantly reduce intraocular pressure by as much as 25 percent, for a period of time. Incorporating eggplant into your diet when possible may keep your glaucoma risk low.

3. Goji Berries

Aside from compressing the optic nerve, the elevated pressure inside the eye can also destroy light-sensitive cells or retinal ganglion cells. An animal study showed that goji berries can save these cells from deteriorating independent of elevated pressure.

4. Kale

A few servings of kale per week can reduce the risk developing of glaucoma by a significant amount. High level of nitrates in food act as a precursor to nitric oxide. This helps reduce the risk of glaucoma by promoting optimum circulation of blood to different parts of the body.

While these food have been shown to be beneficial in lowering the risk of glaucoma, there are still many factors that put people at risk for this disease. Previous eye injury, family history and existing health issues such as diabetes can all contribute to glaucoma development. Talk to your doctor to determine your risk of glaucoma and ways in which you can lower your risk.

In general, a healthy lifestyle with plenty of fruits and vegetables is the best for the health of our eyes and the rest of our bodies. Our glaucoma specialists in Glendale, AZ recommend a healthy diet along with regular eye examinations for glaucoma prevention. For more information, call us today for an appointment!

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