Glaucoma is a concerning condition that can hamper vision and quality of life subsequently. A group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and can lead to blindness is called glaucoma. The optic nerve is responsible for the transmission of visual information from your eye to the brain. The damage to the optic nerve, often due to high eye pressure, can lead to glaucoma. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, often it affects elderly individuals. It is also one of the prominent causes of blindness in elderly individuals over 60 years. Several forms of this eye condition have no warning symptoms. The development is so gradual that one may not witness any change in vision until the condition enters its later stages. So, regular eye examinations are necessary to measure your eye pressure. Early detection can help slow down and prevent vision loss. For that purpose, World Glaucoma Week is celebrated throughout the entire second week of March every year to raise awareness about glaucoma and urge a greater number of people to get their eye tests. This year “World Glaucoma Awareness Week” is celebrated from 12th to 18th March 2023. The theme of World Glaucoma Awareness Week 2023 is “The world is bright, save your sight.”
It aims to make people aware of this medical condition worldwide and prioritize early detection and treatment for glaucoma, which is one of the major causes of blindness worldwide. Early detection of symptomless glaucoma can help prevent vision loss. A late-stage of glaucoma is irreversible and can lead to blindness and sight loss. Fortunately, a healthy diet comprising the right nutritious foods can help lower the risk of glaucoma in later life. Reducing eye pressure is a proven technique to treat this eye condition. Eating foods that can lower eye pressure and avoiding foods that can raise eye pressure can help in minimizing the risk of glaucoma. Consulting certified dieticians and nutritionists can help you receive the right customised diet that can help lower your eye pressure, protect your eyes, and help reduce the risk of this eye condition. Discover all about healthy eating that can help in lowering the risk of contracting glaucoma.
7 Healthy Dietary Measures for Lowering the Risk of Glaucoma
Follow a diet that helps maintain normal blood pressure and blood glucose levels as it helps reduce the risk of glaucoma. Also, add plenty of antioxidants to your diet through fresh food. Learn all about the concerned diet below.
Enrich Your Diet with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Several fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein that safeguard your eyes against oxidative stress, which is associated with damage to the optic nerve of the eye. So, feasting on fresh fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, oranges, and peaches, among others, can help minimize the risk of optic nerve damage and, subsequently, glaucoma.
Include Leafy Greens in Diet
Leafy greens offer several health benefits, and they may also provide additional benefits to glaucoma patients. People eating more leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, have a lower risk of developing the disease than those who eat them less. Women eating over one serving a week of kale and collard green experience a lower risk of developing glaucoma by 57% than those who eat less than a serving a month of these leafy greens. Also, leafy greens reduce the rates of inflammation, macular degeneration, and other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.
Munch on Nuts
Free radical damage can break down the protective retinal tissues of your eye. Seeds and nuts are rich sources of vitamin E, which is a crucial vitamin that safeguards your cells from free radical damage. Having sunflower seeds helps reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. You can also snack on hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds which have high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein.
Have Fish in Your Meals
Fish are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which help minimize the risk of developing eye disease later in life. Omega-3 fatty acids also help minimize glaucoma-related eye pressure. So, include salmon, halibut, sardines, and tuna in your diet.
Go for Dark Chocolate
Flavanols in the chocolate are antioxidants that improve the blood flow to your eyes. Individuals who devoured a bar of dark chocolate are found to experience an improved vision in about a couple of hours. So, you may snack on dark chocolate in moderate quantities. Consulting certified dieticians can help you have it in the right quantity.
Drink a Cup of Tea Daily
As per the British Journal of Ophthalmology, drinking a minimum of a cup of hot tea daily reduced the risk of the development of glaucoma by 74%, as compared to those who don’t consume it. So, you may have a cup of hot tea daily.
Relish Black Beans, Banana, and Pumpkin Seeds
Eating magnesium food sources helps you meet the daily recommended intake of 300-400 of this mineral easily. Having adequate dietary magnesium helps improve blood flow to the eye in glaucoma patients. It also helps safeguard retinal ganglion cells that are responsible for processing visual information in the eye and transmitting it through the optic nerve to the brain. So, include bananas, pumpkin seeds, avocados, and black beans in your diet.
Foods to Avoid When Living with Glaucoma or to Reduce its Risks
To maintain good eye health and lower the risk of glaucoma, you need to avoid or limit certain foods. Here’s a quick rundown of it.
- Foods that contribute to blood pressure abnormalities, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity, as they increase the risk of primary open-angle glaucoma.
- Maintain a low-calorie diet. Restricting calories affects the eyes positively. It triggers an anti-ageing mechanism and aids in limiting ocular dysfunction. A high-calorie diet is linked to a greater risk of glaucoma. So, follow a diet that is low in calories.
- Minimize your salt intake. Salt is necessary for our diet, but moderation is key. So, avoid excess salt intake.
- Avoid Excess Caffeine: Although coffee contains antioxidants, excessive consumption of caffeine can increase your blood pressure. This is not healthy for glaucoma patients.
- Drink small quantities of water or fluid throughout the day instead of drinking water in large quantities at once.
So, let’s care for our eyes this World Glaucoma Awareness Week 2023 and spread the word to help a greater number of people enjoy good eye health by adopting these dietary measures. Consulting certified dieticians and nutritionists, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you receive a customized diet plan for good eye health that can help lower the risk of glaucoma. Our diet plan not only helps improve eye health but also nourishes you with essential nutrients, aids in weight management, and boosts your immunity. So, waste no time, get in touch with us at Health Total and pave your way to enjoy good vision with a personalized diet for good eye health.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips for caring for your eyes with the right dietary measures or managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-843-0206 and book an appointment!