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Diet for Glaucoma Prevention

Glaucoma results when the natural flow of fluid in the eye slows, causing an increase of pressure. Untreated, this high intraocular pressure, or IOP, damages the optic nerve, which may result in a gradual loss of peripheral vision and subsequent blindness. Glaucoma occurs more frequently in families with a history of the disease and in long-term smokers. Although no known protocols prevent glaucoma, doctors advise regular eye exams, a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and proper nutrition as the best ways to ensure eye health.

Step 1

Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, Swiss chard and endive. Salad greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments with powerful antioxidant properties that protect the eye.

Step 2

Limit sugar intake and control blood sugar levels. Diabetes may increase the risk of glaucoma in women, according to the Nurses’ Health Study, the results of which appeared in the July 2006 issue of “Ophthalmology.” Obesity is also related to elevated eye pressure.

Step 3

Avoid red meats, and focus on wild-caught fish and seafood as sources of vitamin E and zinc. Eat foods high in omega-3s, or consider taking a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil to supplement your diet.

Step 4

Add a serving of dark berries to a daily meal. These berries, plus orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, contain carotenoids, which are necessary for good vision.

Step 5

Consult with your doctor and ask whether you should take vitamins supplements is right for you. Make an appointment with a registered dietician who can help develop a diet plan specific to your needs.

Tip

  • Overcooking eggs destroys the nutrients that benefit your vision. Poached or soft-boiled eggs are preferable to hard-boiled.

Warning

  • Contact your doctor immediately if you experience blurred vision or sensitivity to sunlight, both possible symptoms of glaucoma.

Photo Credits:

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.