A Silent Thief of Sight: Are You at Risk?

by | May 3, 2023 | Health Blog | 0 comments


Glaucoma is the second main explanation for blindness on the planet. Worldwide, an estimated 80 million individuals are affected, and prevalence is rising.1 Glaucoma develops when excessive strain in your eye (ocular hypertension2) damages the optic nerve. Peripheral imaginative and prescient is impacted first, adopted by central imaginative and prescient.

Ocular hypertension happens when the entrance of your eye fails to empty fluid correctly, thereby inflicting strain to construct and put strain on the optic nerve. Components that increase your danger for ocular hypertension embrace:

Household historical past of ocular hypertension or glaucoma

Diabetics and people with hypertension

Folks over 40

Blacks and Hispanics

Myopia (nearsightedness)

Lengthy-term steroid use

Earlier eye accidents or eye surgical procedures

These with pigment dispersion syndrome or pseudoexfoliation syndrome

The one identified solution to forestall and/or cease the development of glaucoma is to decrease the strain within the eye. Therapy choices embrace medicine, lasers, laceration surgical procedure, oral medicines, dietary dietary supplements, herbs and different plant cures, a number of of which I’ll evaluation under.

Take into account that lack of imaginative and prescient is normally the primary and solely symptom of glaucoma, so it’s essential to get an intensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist to find out in case your ocular strain is elevated, which might make you a candidate for glaucoma. As soon as imaginative and prescient loss happens, the harm to your optic nerve is irreversible.

The Ocular Hypertension Therapy Research (OHTS)

Being identified with ocular hypertension doesn’t imply you’re destined to develop glaucoma, however it does considerably increase your danger, because it’s the first underlying trigger. The Ocular Hypertension Therapy Research (OHTS), which started in 1994, has additionally recognized different danger components that may assist decide your danger for glaucoma. As reported by Harvard Well being:3

“The researchers enrolled a various group of 1,636 contributors with ocular hypertension from 22 websites throughout the US. To check glaucoma prevention, contributors have been randomly assigned to begin both early eye pressure-lowering eye drops (remedy group) or shut commentary (management group).

At 5 years the info confirmed that 4.4% of contributors developed glaucoma within the remedy group, in comparison with 9.5% within the management group. This tells us that early use of medicated eye drops helps delay over 50% of glaucoma circumstances in individuals with ocular hypertension.

Throughout later phases of the examine, the management group might obtain eye pressure-lowering medicines to see whether or not beginning remedy later might nonetheless delay glaucoma; it did.

At 20 years, about 49% of these within the management group and 42% of these within the remedy group developed glaucoma. Nonetheless, for the reason that examine was now not randomized, the researchers have been unable to check the 20-year danger discount between the preliminary beginning teams …

Glaucoma danger, it turned out, didn’t rely solely on eye strain and race, however on a mixture of examination findings. This data helps information clinicians in figuring out whether or not an individual with ocular hypertension is at a low, medium, or increased danger for growing glaucoma. Having such data might assist individuals resolve when to start utilizing medicated eye drops to forestall imaginative and prescient loss or gradual its progress.”

Other than excessive eye strain, different components that affect a person’s danger for growing glaucoma have been discovered to incorporate:

  • Older age
  • Thinner corneas
  • Bigger optic nerve cup sizes
  • Low preliminary peripheral imaginative and prescient check scores

Therapy Alternate options

When you’re identified with ocular hypertension, notably when you additionally produce other danger components listed above, your ophthalmologist could prescribe eye pressure-lowering eye drops, oral remedy and/or selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT).4

SLT is a five-minute process carried out at your ophthalmologist’s workplace, the place a low-energy laser is pulsed into particular cells in your eye. Your physique’s pure therapeutic response then does the remainder by rebuilding these cells. The rebuilding course of mechanically reduces the intraocular strain and improves drainage.

Research have additionally proven that sure natural cures, plant extracts5 and dietary dietary supplements could be useful, though most standard medical doctors know little or no, if something, about these merchandise.

Melatonin Lowers Intraocular Strain

Melatonin, for instance, has been proven to decrease intraocular strain in sufferers with glaucoma. Topics who took 2 mg of melatonin each day at 10:30 p.m. for 90 days, skilled a number of advantages, together with:6

  • Elevated stability of systemic circadian rhythm through improved part alignment and alignment with intraocular strain
  • Decreased intraocular strain
  • Improved perform of retinal ganglion cells in these with superior glaucoma
  • Enhancements to sleep and temper, notably in these with superior glaucoma

Curiously, these researchers7 advised that glaucoma could, the truth is, be a sort of neurodegenerative illness, and harm to retinal ganglion cells impacts not solely imaginative and prescient but additionally circadian rhythms and sleep, which melatonin helps regulate.

Its helpful results on the eyes can maybe be defined finest by the truth that melatonin receptors exist in a number of areas of your eyes, together with the retina, lens and cornea.8 This hints at melatonin’s significance for regulating eye processes, notably when strain homeostasis is concerned. As defined in a March 2020 paper revealed in Progress in Retinal and Eye Analysis:9

“Glaucoma, probably the most prevalent eye illness, also referred to as the silent thief of imaginative and prescient, is a multifactorial pathology that’s related to age and, typically, to intraocular hypertension (IOP). Certainly IOP is the one modifiable danger issue …

Melatonin and analogues lower IOP in each normotensive and hypertensive eyes. Melatonin prompts its cognate membrane receptors, MT1 and MT2, that are current in quite a few ocular tissues, together with the aqueous-humor-producing ciliary processes.

Melatonin receptors belong to the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors and their activation would result in totally different signaling pathways relying on the tissue … The present work highlights the essential function of melatonin and its analogues within the wholesome and within the glaucomatous eyes, with particular consideration to the management of intraocular strain.”

Personally, I query the timing of the melatonin within the above examine at 10:30 p.m. In my opinion that’s removed from an excellent time to sleep and about two hours later than I personally do. The opposite subject of concern is that it’s unclear if these authors have been conscious that the best manufacturing of melatonin just isn’t the pineal, however the mitochondria, when uncovered to infrared mild.

It will be attention-grabbing to check the outcomes of their 2 mg 10:30 p.m. protocol versus one hour of sunshine round photo voltaic midday in a heat local weather.

Melatonin’s Results Have Been Recognized for A long time

The impact of melatonin on intraocular strain has been identified for many years, but most standard medical doctors are nonetheless groping in the dead of night. In 1988, researchers with Oregon Well being Sciences College uncovered topics to vivid mild to suppress serum melatonin ranges, after which supplemented with melatonin to gauge its impact on intraocular strain.10 A major connection was discovered:11

“Our information means that in the course of the interval of melatonin’s best ranges within the serum, IOP is lowest. All topics had most pressures type 4 p.m. to six p.m. and most topics had minimums from 2 a.m. to five a.m.

In experiment one, vivid mild suppression of melatonin secretion attenuated the early morning fall IOP. This was statistically important at suggesting that melatonin is concerned in reducing early morning IOP.

In experiment one, there was solely partial suppression of melatonin manufacturing with vivid mild and consequently there was no important distinction in IOP between topics uncovered to dim mild and vivid mild.

Nonetheless, administering 200 micrograms (one-fifth of 1 mg) of melatonin orally brought about a major lower in IOP. Intraocular strain remained low for roughly 4 hours after the final dose.”

Lutein Protects Towards Glaucoma and Different Eye Ailments

Lutein is one other nutrient that’s actually essential for eye well being and helps to guard in opposition to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and different eye illnesses.

Lutein concentrates in your macula, which is the a part of your retina chargeable for central imaginative and prescient. Together with zeaxanthin and mesa-zeaxanthin (a metabolite of lutein), these three carotenoids type the retinal macular pigment, which not solely is chargeable for optimizing your visible efficiency but additionally serves as a biomarker for the danger of macular illnesses.12

Lutein can be discovered within the lens, the place it helps defend in opposition to cataracts and different age-related eye illnesses. Amongst carotenoids, lutein is probably the most environment friendly at filtering out blue mild — the sort that comes from cellphones, computer systems, tablets and LED lights. Blue mild induces oxidative stress in your eyes, which will increase the danger of cataracts and macular illnesses. Lutein, nonetheless, acts as a protect in opposition to it.

Your physique can not make lutein, so you will need to get it out of your weight-reduction plan. Following are 10 meals which might be notably wealthy sources of lutein.

Darkish leafy greens



Egg yolks

Crimson and yellow peppers

Candy corn





Lutein and different carotenoids are fat-soluble, so to optimize absorption you should definitely devour it together with a supply of wholesome fats, akin to coconut oil or grass-fed butter. As a result of natural, pastured egg yolks include fats, they’re among the many healthiest sources of lutein.

Different Useful Treatments

Sure herbs, plant extracts and nutritional vitamins have additionally proven promise within the therapy of glaucoma, together with:13

Ginkgo biloba — A 2013 examine14 highlighted the advantages of ginkgo biloba, discovering it slowed the development of glaucoma. Forty-two sufferers with regular rigidity glaucoma acquired 80 mg of ginkgo biloba extract twice a day and underwent 5 or extra visible area exams over the course of a minimum of 4 years.

Imply follow-up was 12.3 years. Whereas intraocular pressures remained largely the identical after therapy, the visible area index considerably improved, particularly central area imaginative and prescient.

Chinese language skullcap — A 2021 examine15 concluded that baicalein, a flavone present in skullcap root, successfully improved signs of glaucoma and decreased retinal ganglion cell apoptosis.

Bilberry — In animal analysis,16 bilberry extract was proven to forestall the dying of retinal ganglion cells in mice whose optic nerves have been crushed. The dosages given have been 100 mg per kilo of body weight per day and 500 mg/kg/day.

Inexperienced tea — A 2019 animal examine discovered inexperienced tea extract helped defend retinal ganglion cells throughout ischemic situations (i.e., when blood move is restricted). As such, inexperienced tea extract could also be a viable therapeutic strategy for glaucoma and optic neuropathies.

A newer report,17 revealed in 2022, proposed that reasonable consumption of inexperienced tea or 400 mg of concentrated inexperienced tea extract per day would possibly profit people with elevated intraocular strain and people in danger for glaucoma.

Curcumin — In response to animal analysis18 revealed in 2014, curcumin, a polyphenol discovered within the spice turmeric, can assist deal with glaucoma by limiting oxidative harm within the eye and reducing intraocular strain.

Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) — Analysis19 revealed in 2020 reported that glaucoma sufferers who took oral vitamin B3 skilled important enchancment in retinal perform. Sufferers within the therapy group acquired 1.5 grams of nicotinamide per day for six weeks, adopted by 3 grams a day for an additional six weeks.


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