Saturday, 12 August 2017

Why There Is Pressure To Get Cured From Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a main cause of blindness, and is known to result to increased intraocular pressure (although it can also occur with normal intraocular pressure), optic nerve damage, and the gradual loss of peripheral vision. Often, the increase in pressure is the result of inadequate drainage of aqueous humor, which normally flows from the posterior chamber behind the iris to the anterior chamber in front of the iris. 

At least, 90% of glaucoma cases are of the open angle form, in which there is a wide, open angle between the eye's iris and cornea. In angle-closure glaucoma, the angle between the iris and cornea is narrow. While open angle glaucoma develops slowly, angle-closure glaucoma comes on suddenly. Both types of glaucoma impair aqueous humor outflow.

Other types include congenital glaucoma and variants of open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma that include secondary glaucoma, exfoliative glaucoma, traumatic glaucoma, and more.

Several treatments for glaucoma exist, mainly in the form of eye drops, including the prostaglandin analog bimatoprost that has gained recognition over the past several years due to its ability to thicken and darken the eyelashes, resulting in the prescription cosmetic known as Latisse®. There are also surgical treatment options that have had limited success.
Why There Is Pressure To Get Cured From Glaucoma

B-Vitamins, Antioxidant Support, and More

Nutritional therapies for glaucoma can help lower intraocular pressure without the side effects of drugs, however, they are most often suggested to act in complement with standard therapies rather than replace them. 

A study of dietary factors and glaucoma noted that greater consumption of carrots, collard greens, kale, and peaches were associated with significantly lower risk for glaucoma in women in comparison with consumption of the foods less than once per month.1

These foods are high in vitamins A, B2, and C, as well as carotenoids. Supplemental vitamin C has been associated with a lower risk of developing glaucoma in a study of a subgroup of participants in the 2005−2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.2 Subjects whose supplemental vitamin C intake was among the top 20% of subjects had a 53% lower risk of the disease than those among the lowest 20%.

Supplementation with alpha lipoic acid, a compound that has shown rejuvenating effect in gerontologic experiments,3,4 was shown to both help prevent and treat glaucoma in a mouse model by reducing oxidative stress and limiting disease-related retinal ganglion cell death and dysfunction.5 

A study that included patients with dry eye disorders and those with nonadvanced primary open-angle glaucoma (who frequently develop dry eye in association with the use of eye drops used to treat the disease) found that daily supplementation with antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E plus essential fatty acids (EPA, DHA) for three months improved dry eye signs and symptoms compared with those who did not receive the supplements.6 

Forskolin (Coleus forskohli) is an herb that has been used topically to help control intraocular pressure. A study that evaluated orally administered forskolin combined with rutin (a glycoside of quercetin) in a group of patients with primary open angle glaucoma being treated with a topical drug regimen found a 10% decrease in intraocular pressure in treated subjects, while intraocular pressure remained stable in the control group.7

A similar investigation of this nutrient combination plus vitamins B1 and B2 resulted in an approximate 20% decrease in intraocular pressure in comparison with pretreatment values, leading the authors of the report to conclude that, "[...[ forskolin and rutin given through the oral route appear to reach the ocular district, where they can act in synergy with topical pharmacological treatments, and contribute to the control of intraocular pressure.8 

The intake of the B vitamin folate has been linked with a lower risk of exfoliative glaucoma or suspected disease.9 An evaluation of 78,980 women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study and 41,221 male participants in the Health Professionals Follow-Up study found a 25% lower risk of diagnosed or suspected exfoliative glaucoma among those whose intake of folate was among the highest 20% compared with the lowest 20%.

Further investigation revealed that folate from supplements but not from diet was responsible for the protective effect9. Other research involving patients with exfoliative glaucoma and exfoliation syndrome (which increases the risk of exfoliative glaucoma) has found an association with elevated plasma homocysteine, which is treatable with B vitamins.10 

Healthy Blood Flow

While the cause of normal tension glaucoma is unknown, one hypothesis concerning its occurrence suggests that the disease is due to reduced blood flow to the optic nerve. To investigate this vascular hypothesis, researchers in Seoul, Korea evaluated the effects of Ginkgo biloba, which has beneficial effects on blood circulation and other benefits, and bilberry anthocyanins, which have an affinity for the eye and vascular tissues.11

After treatment for nearly two years, normal tension glaucoma patients who received anthocyanins or ginkgo experienced improvement in the Humphrey Visual Field test, which is used to evaluate peripheral vision that becomes impaired with glaucoma. Improvement also occurred in best corrected-visual acuity among those who received anthocyanins, while deteriorating in the control group. 

Another study that tested anthocyanins from black currant resulted in improved ocular blood flow in comparison with a placebo group.12 

A review suggests that resveratrol, a compound occurring in red grapes and wine, could aid in the prevention of glaucoma, due to its vascular-enhancing properties that support the eyes' microcirculation.13 

In 2008, Molecular Vision published the finding of researchers at Italy's University of Chieti-Pescara of improved ocular blood flow and lowered average intraocular pressure in association with Mirtogenol®, a combination of Mirtoselect® from bilberry and Pycnogenol® from French Maritime pine bark, in a study that included 38 asymptomatic participants with intraocular hypertension.14

The authors of the study conclude that dietary intervention with the combination may help prevent progression to higher intraocular pressure and symptomatic glaucoma. They note that bilberry and Pycnogenol® have been used as supplements for decades without significant side effects. 

The Bottom Line

Glaucoma, while slow-progressing in its most common manifestation, remains an eventual thief of sight. It is imperative that anyone with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma receive treatment by an ophthalmologist. Progression of the disease may be slowed with early detection and treatment. Nutritional supplements may be added in the hope of boosting results. Please consult with your physician concerning the compatibility with your medication regimen of any supplements under consideration. 

Source: LifeExtension