Vitamin A For Glaucoma


Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for eye health. In addition to helping your eyes adjust to the dark, vitamin A is also important for maintaining healthy corneas and other parts of your eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness and other eye problems.

You may be at risk of a vitamin A deficiency if you do not get enough in your diet or if your body cannot properly absorb the vitamin from food.

What causes vitamin A deficiency?

There are many different causes of vitamin A deficiency, including poor nutrition, a poor diet, illness, advanced age, and some medications.

Who is at risk for vitamin A deficiency?

Vitamin A deficiency can affect anyone who does not consume enough of this essential nutrient or who cannot properly absorb it from their diet. For example:

Vitamin A For Glaucoma

High intakes of vitamin a, beta-carotene or vitamin B1 maybe linked with a twofold reduction in risk of open-angle glaucoma compared to low intakes of the nutrients, says a new study from the Netherlands.

To investigate whether the dietary intakes of nutrients that either have antioxidative properties or influence the blood flow is associated with the incident of open-angle glaucoma (OAG), dietary intake data and cases of OAG from 3,502 participants aged 55 and older were documented over an average period of 9.7 years (1). The study results showed that participants with a high intake of retinol equivalents (preformed vitamin A or the pro-vitamin A beta-carotene) or vitamin B1 had an about half risk of OAG compared to those with a low intake of these nutrients, and risk of OAG among people with a high intake of magnesium tripled compared to those with a low intake. A significant effect of these nutrients on intraocular pressure (IOP) was not observed.

The researchers concluded that adequate intakes of retinol equivalents and vitamin B1 seem to have a protective effect against OAG, whereas magnesium intake appears to be associated with an increased risk. The findings for retinol equivalents and vitamin B1 were found to be in line with the existing hypothesis that antioxidant nutrients may be preventive for OAG. The effect of magnesium was also found be less unambiguous to interpret. The study findings might be helpful in the unraveling of the largely unknown development of OAG.

OAG is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, and together with age-relatKed macular degeneration are the two most common causes of irreversible blindness worldwide. Apart from an increased intraocular pressure, oxidative stress and an impaired ocular blood flow are supposed to contribute to OAG. For these reasons, the effects of nutrients with anti-oxidant activity, such as carotenoids, retinol equivalents, B vitamins, vitamins C and E, are of great interest (2).

Your eyes allow you to enjoy the beauty of the world around you and are essential for day to day living. They make it easy for you to walk, drive, exercise and see the faces of families and friends. Losing your vision and becoming dependent on others to assist you can be devastating. However this is a reality for many who are diagnosed with glaucoma. It is a disease of the eye in which increased pressure causes damage to the lens structure of the eye. Some symptoms of glaucoma include blurred vision, nausea and seeing halos. However, the effects of this disease can be lowered with medication. But have you ever heard the saying that prevention is better than a cure?  

Studies show that eating foods rich in retinol (Vitamin A), beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce the risk or help prevent glaucoma and maintain healthy eyesight for people at higher risk.

Retinol (Vitamin A)

Research shows that when people eat foods rich in retinol (vitamin A), they are less likely to get age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Some foods rich in this vitamin are:

  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Fish-liver oil
  • Oily fish (salmon and tuna)
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt and hard cheeses)


As kids, our parents or guardians told us to eat our carrots for better eyesight — and they were right. Studies support that fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene (like carrots) have a protective effect on the eye. Other sources are:

  • Sweet potato
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apricots
  • Papaya
  • Pumpkin

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Dark green and leafy vegetables with high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin are suggested for the prevention of eye diseases. Foods rich in these eye vitamins are:

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage

Adding these foods into your diet has never been easier. You can enjoy a refreshing, green smoothie by adding green, leafy veggies like spinach and kale in a blender with berries. You can also include these foods in a garden salad, fruit salad, soup and so much more. The reward? A healthy and tasty way to nourish your body and improve your vision.

While heredity and other risk factors such as age, race, and lifestyle may determine if a person gets glaucoma, studies show that the foods discussed here can prevent the onset of the disease. And beyond the research, words of wisdom that apply across our daily lives is “prevention is better than a cure”.

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natural vitamins for glaucoma

natural remedies for glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that can cause permanent vision loss. The disease often has no warning signs, and if left undetected and untreated, it can lead to blindness.

In most cases, glaucoma is caused by too much pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP), which damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss. 

As soon as glaucoma is found, patients should follow their eye doctor’s glaucoma treaktment recommendations to slow or prevent vision loss.

Natural remedies for glaucoma

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, there are some natural health and wellness tips that might help your eyes respond as well as possible to medical treatment. Natural remedies for glaucoma are not enough to treat the condition on their own and will not cure the disease, but they may be a good supplement to prescribed treatment. 

Be aware of “fast fixes” and so-called miracle remedies for glaucoma you may find online. Always speak to your eye care specialist before beginning a new regimen that could affect your condition or your health, or interact with your current treatment.

From incorporating certain foods and nutrients into your diet to ending unhealthy habits, there are several ways to implement drug-free, natural “remedies” to complement your glaucoma treatment. 

Adopt a healthy diet for glaucoma

Good nutrition has been shown to play a role in eye health and may even slow the progression of conditions such as glaucoma.

Recent studies suggest that certain vitamins and nutrients may have an impact on IOP and the incidence and progression of glaucoma. In particular, fruits and vegetables that are higher in vitamins A and C, as well as carotenoids, appear to be helpful.

For this reason, some of the most important vegetables to incorporate into your diet include leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, kale and Brussels sprouts.

Antioxidants also may help prevent further damage to the optic nerve. You can find antioxidants in foods like cranberries, black and green teas, flax seeds, pomegranates, and acai berries. 

Other foods like peaches, carrots, beets, green beans, and radishes are important to include in your fruit and vegetable intake as well. Experts warn against drinking too much coffee and caffeinated beverages, however, as caffeine may increase eye pressure.

Exercise regularly to promote healthy IOP

Moderate exercise can help you maintain healthy IOP levels. This is because exercise improves blood flow to your eyes and throughout the rest of your body. Vigorous exercise, on the other hand, can elevate IOP, so don’t overdo it.

Some yoga positions can also contribute to a higher IOP, which is not good for glaucoma patients. If you have glaucoma and practice yoga, be sure to avoid poses such as headstands and prolonged downward-facing dog, legs up the wall, plow and standing forward bends.

Natural supplements for glaucoma

If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, natural and over-the-counter supplements can be taken to restore it, including: 

  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A, B-complex, C and E 

All are particularly important for those with glaucoma. If you feel that your nutrition intake is inadequate, taking a daily multivitamin can help. 

However, it’s important to remember that vitamin supplements are not clinically proven to prevent or cure glaucoma. Always check with your doctor before taking any kind of medication or supplements to treat your glaucoma, even if you are considering natural products.

Herbs for glaucoma

Certain herbs are believed to aid in glaucoma treatments. Specifically, ginkgo, bilberry, and forskolin may have some benefits. Benefits of these herbal remedies for glaucoma include:

  • Ginkgo (ginkgo biloba): In some scientific models, this herb has shown an increase in ocular blood flow.
  • Bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus): Bilberry is popular thanks to its strong antioxidant nature. One study showed that bilberry decreased retinal ganglion cell damage in mice, but there have been no studies showing such an effect in humans. 
  • Forskolin (coleus forskohlii): This herb may lower IOP when applied topically by reducing the rate of aqueous fluid within the eye. 
  • Medical marijuana (cannabis): Some studies suggest that marijuana may temporarily lower IOP, but only with frequent use, which can lead to potentially dangerous side effects.

It is important to note that while these herbs have shown promise in some studies, they are not clinically proven treatments for glaucoma. Some herbs may even have harmful effects or negative interactions with other medications, so check with your doctor before using any herbal remedies for glaucoma. And never replace doctor-prescribed or -recommended treatments with herbal remedies.

Natural prevention of glaucoma 

If you are at risk for glaucoma, there may be certain everyday habits that you can start or stop to lower your risk of a diagnosis. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising moderately, consider incorporating the following into your lifestyle:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Both high and low body mass indexes (BMIs) can increase the risk of glaucoma.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Consider meditation. Stress appears to increase a person’s risk of high IOP. Some research has shown meditation can help reduce eye pressure if practiced regularly.
  • Practice good dental hygiene and see a dentist on a regular basis. Some research has shown that periodontal (gum) disease is associated with an increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).
  • Get screened for glaucoma. This is especially important if you have a family history of the disease.

Consult your eye doctor

Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be reversed, so it’s critical that the disease is detected early and managed properly. Dietary supplements and healthy lifestyle changes may be useful to complement conventional glaucoma treatments — but natural glaucoma “remedies” should not be used as an alternative to glaucoma treatment prescribed by your eye doctor.

Be sure to discuss any natural remedies for glaucoma with your eye doctor before you consider taking them. Some might actually interact with your medications, which could be harmful.

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