Caused by increased ocular pressure, glaucoma eventually damages the optic nerve, resulting in low vision or complete blindness. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, more and more research on the benefits of good nutrition is being done.
It’s important to note that these nutritional recommendations are not a definitive proof for reducing glaucoma. Since these suggestions offer many other health benefits, there’s no harm in encouraging your patients to improve their diets and try to incorporate the following suggestions whenever possible.
Focus on Color
Fruits and vegetables high in color, particularly green leafy vegetables and orange fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that contribute to eye health. Any fruits and vegetables, including berries that contain vitamins C, E and A, are also beneficial because of their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein are found in high concentrations in the eye.
Heart Healthy is Glaucoma Friendly
Increased blood pressure can exacerbate the effects of glaucoma, since they’re both related to pressure. Minimizing salt intake and limiting fats can contribute to better eye health. Retinol, which is found in butter, cheese and milk, is a great form of vitamin A that’s also eye-friendly. Patients should consume adequate amounts of these dairy products.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a reduced risk of developing glaucoma. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as raw and cooked salmon, and nuts. As with any fatty foods, these products are high in caloric value, so they should be added to your patients’ diets in sufficient quantities to achieve health benefits without contributing to weight gain.
As your partner in early eye disease detection, Optos would like to remind you of our optomap® technology, which can help you create a front line of defense for your patients.
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