In a healthy eye, the fluid is regularly drained, however in those with glaucoma the drainage system doesn’t work properly, so the fluid gradually builds up in your eye, causing increased pressure. Over time, the increased pressure causes nerve fibers that are essential to vision to die.
- Eating green leafy vegetables daily may decrease the risk of glaucoma — a serious eye disease — by 20 percent or more over many years, a new study suggests. According to the reserchers involved, an important factor that regulates blood flow to the eye is a substance called nitric oxide and green leafy vegetables contain nitrates, which are precursors to nitric oxide. An increase in dietary nitrate and green vegetables significantly reduces the risk of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is the most common form of glaucoma and is characterized by an increase in eye pressure and a gradual loss of vision. Findings from the study were published online Jan. 14 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. The vegetable that was consistently inversely associated with POAG was kale or collard greens: 1 serving or more per month of kale or collard greens was significantly associated with 55% to 70% reduced odds of POAG.
- Regular Yoga Practice: Intraocular Pressure (IOP), is the most common risk factor for glaucomatous damage and the only modifiable factor that has been proven to prevent or slow glaucoma progression. Regular practice of a series of inverted yoga positions, which included downward dog, standing forward bend, plow and legs up on the wall can help rise in IOP .
- Opt for Regular Eye Exam: A regular eye examinations before symptoms appear; is key to preventing vision loss. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is considered the best way to detect glaucoma. It includes a visual acuity test, (to measure ability to see at various distances), a visual field test (to assess peripheral vision), a dilated eye exam (to assess damage to the retina and optic nerve), tonometry (to measure eye pressure) and pachymetry (to measure thickness of the cornea).
- Avoid Trans fats: Trans fat may interfere with omega-3 fats in your body, which are extremely important for your eye health. A diet high in trans fat also appears to contribute to macular degeneration. Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.
- Manage your Insulin Levels: As your insulin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure, and possibly also your eye pressure, to increase. In time this can cause your body to become insulin resistant, and studies show insulin resistance — which is common in people with diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure — is linked to elevated eye pressure. Try to avoid sugar and grains, the two “food groups” that will inevitably cause surges in your insulin levels.
By incorporating these changes in your lifestyle you can keep the disease from progressing.