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As you may know, Glaucoma is one of the vision diseases that affect people as they age. The disease which unfortunately ends in blindness usually begins with an increase in pressure in the eye, which leads to damage in the lens of the eye. Historically, much of the treatment for Glaucoma has ben focussed on the eye itself such as treating the early symptoms with eye drops, for example, but a recent study has shown that a change in diet prior to the on-set of the symptoms may reduce the risk.
The recent study conducted in the Netherlands has few findings, however, about just how important diet may be in the prevention of Glaucoma according to the study, foods rich in retinol, a form of Vitamin A, have been found to reduce the risk of Glaucoma. These foods include milk, liver, cheese and butter. While these goods also seem to possess a high fat content, there was actually no evidence that fat plays a role in preventing or intensifying the disease.
In addition to foods rich in retinol, researchers found lower rates of Glaucoma between those who consumed more leafy greens including carrotts, orange coloured fruits and especially cabbage. The last finding of the study was that foods high in anti-oxidants like green tea, date chocolate and coffee contributed to reducing the risk of Glaucoma. Is is important to note that caffein in-take, from foods such as those listed as high in antioxidants, especially coffee, are good to prevent the risk but researchers cautioned their use for those already diagnosed, due to their potential to aggravate the disease.
With all of the new findings, the researchers of the study outlined a seven-point set of guidelines for reducing the risk of Glaucoma:
1. Consume abundant amounts of colorful fruit and vegetables.
2. Avoid high intake of salt in patients with hypertensive glaucoma.
3. Refrain from high-calorie diets (restricting fat) to avoid an increase in body fat.
4. Consider eating fish or nuts rich in omega-3 PFA, which appears to reduce risk.
5. Avoid drinking large amounts of liquid in a single sitting. It is preferable to drink small amounts in the course of the day.
6. Consume moderate amounts of red wine, black chocolate, and green tea.
7. Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages to reduce increased blood pressure if you already have Glaucoma.
I first want to say a very sincere thanks for looking after me, and giving me wonderful clear sight again. I can almost see into Mars and other planets! I hope all your patients are as happy as me.
Marian Hogan (Oct 2017)