is a serious eye condition characterised by an increase of pressure within the eye
ball, called intraocular pressure. It is similar to high blood pressure
in the body. The condition is
therefore, also known as hypertension of the eye.
A certain amount of intraocular pressure is considered necessary, but too much can cause
damage to the eye and may result in vision loss. Glaucoma
is the major cause of blindness
among adults today. One out of every eight blind persons is a victim of glaucoma
. Far sighted
persons are more prone to develop this disease than near sighted ones.
The first symptom of glaucoma
is the appearance of halos or coloured rings round distant
objects, when seen at night. In this condition, the iris is usually pushed forward, and the patient
often complains of constant pain in the region of the brow, near the temples and the cheeks.
Headaches are not uncommon. There is gradual impairment of vision as glaucoma
and this may ultimately result in blindness if proper steps are not taken to deal with the disease
in the early stages.
Medical science regards severe eye-strain or prolonged working under bad lighting conditions as
the chief causes of glaucoma
. But, in reality, the root cause of glaucoma
is a highly toxic
condition of the system due to dietetic errors, a faulty life style and the prolonged use of
suppressive drugs for the treatment of other diseases. Eye-strain is only a contributory factor.
is also caused by prolonged stress
and is usually a reaction of adrenal exhaustion.
The inability of the adrenal glands to produce aldosterone results in excessive loss of salt from
the body and a consequent accumulation of fluid in the tissues. In the region of the eyes, the
excess fluid causes the eye ball to harden losing its softness and resilience. Glaucoma
been associated with giddiness, sinus conditions, allergies
and an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system.
The modern medical treatment for glaucoma
is through surgery which relieves the internal
pressure in the eye due to excess fluid. This, however, does not remove the cause of the
presence of the excess fluid. Consequently, even after the operation, there is no guarantee
whatsoever that the trouble will not recur, or that it will not affect the other eye. The natural
treatment for glaucoma
is same as that for any other condition associated with high toxicity
is directed towards preserving whatever sight remains. If treated in the early stages, the results
are encouraging. Though cases of advanced glaucoma
may be beyond a cure, even so certain
nutritional and other biological approaches can prove effective in controlling the condition and
preserving the remaining sight.
Certain foodstuff should be scrupulously avoided by patients suffering from glaucoma
. Coffee in
particular, should be completely avoided because of its high caffeine
content. Caffeine causes
stimulation of vasoconstrictors, elevating blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the eye.
Bear and tobacco, which can cause constriction of blood vessels, should also be avoided. Tea
should be taken only in moderation. The patient should not take excessive fluids, whether it is
juice, milk or water at any time. He may drink small amounts several times with at least one hour
The diet of the patient suffering from glaucoma
should be based on three basic food
groups,namely, seeds, nuts and grains ; vegetables and fruit, with emphasis on raw vitamin
C-rich foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. The breakfast may consist of oranges or grapes or any
other juicy fruits in season and a handful of raw nuts or seeds. A raw vegetable salad with olive
oil and lemon juice dressing, two or three whole wheat chappatis and a glass of buttermilk may
be taken for lunch. The dinner may comprise of steamed vegetables, butter and cottage cheese.
Certain nutrients have been found helpful in the treatment of glaucoma
. It has been found that
patients are usually deficient in vitamins A, B,C, protein ,calcium and other
minerals. Nutrients such as calcium and B complex have proved beneficial in relieving the
intraocular condition. Many practitioners believe that intraocular pressure in glaucoma
lowered by vitamin C therapy. Dr. Michele Virno and his colleagues reported recently at a
meeting of the Roman Opthalmological Society in Rome, Italy, that the average person weighing
150 pounds be given 7000 mg. of ascorbic acid, five daily, acquired acceptable intraocular
pressure within 45 days. Symptoms
such as mild stomach discomfort and diarrhoea
large doses of vitamin C were temporary and soon disappeared. It has also been suggested that
some calcium should always be taken with each dose of ascorbic acid to minimise any side
effects of the large dose.
The patient should undertake various methods of relaxing and strengthening the eyes. He
should avoid emotional stress
and cultivate a tranquil, restful life style. He should also avoid
prolonged straining of the eyes such as occurs during excessive T.V. or movie watching and
excessive reading. The use of sun glasses should be avoided.