Chiropractic Healing Works

Chiropractic Healing Works

Under Pressure: Lowering Your Risk Of Developing Glaucoma Through Lifestyle Choices

by Charlie Berry

Glaucoma is the name for a group of conditions that can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Some types of glaucoma, like congenital glaucoma or closed angle glaucoma, are not preventable; they can happen to anyone. However, the most common form of glaucoma, open angle, can sometimes be prevented and controlled by lifestyle choices. You're probably used to thinking about your lifestyle choices in relation to your weight or even the health of your skin and digestive system, but diet and exercise have a lot to do with the health of your eyes and the development of open angle glaucoma.

What causes open angle glaucoma?

This type of glaucoma is the most common. It happens when there is increased aqueous humor within the eye because this fluid drains too slowly, increasing the overall pressure in the eye. The increased pressure can build up and damage the delicate optic nerve at the back of the eye. Blindness can result if glaucoma is not caught in time.

What has diet got to do with it?

Some people are at a higher risk for developing open angle glaucoma if they have a history of glaucoma in their family. However, you are also at risk for glaucoma if you have high blood pressure or diabetes. Part of the fluid in the eye is blood. Blood supplies oxygen to the cells in the eye, including the nerve cells that make up the optic nerve. If you have increased blood pressure overall, the pressure in your eyes will also be increased. Therefore, watching what you eat can go a long way in helping to keep the pressure within the eye at a normal level.

If you are at risk for developing glaucoma, you can decrease your chances of having high blood pressure by:

  • lowering your sugar intake. Scientists now believe that sugar is just as harmful or even more harmful than salt when it comes to the development of high blood pressure. Sugar quickly changes the body's metabolic rate, which raises the heart rate and increases blood flow throughout the body. It also contributes to inflammation. Inflammation is a major factor leading to atherosclerosis--the narrowing the body's arteries due to plaque build up. The narrower passages mean that the same volume of blood must fit in a smaller space. Blood pressure inevitably increases. 
  • eating more plants. Fruits and especially vegetables have almost no negative affect on the body. They provide nutrients without added fat or excess calories. The fiber in plants helps to aid digestion. Plants have plenty of oxygen and water, which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Studies show that people who eat plant-based diets have lower blood pressure than those who regularly eat meat and other animal products.
  • eating less salt. Salt causes the body to retain water, which increases the amount on fluid in the blood and in the eye. Opt to stay hydrated with plenty of water, and pass over high-sodium foods in favor of vinegar or lemon juice for flavoring instead.

Can exercise help?

Yes. Exercise increases your heart rate temporarily, so if you already have a diagnosed eye condition, you should speak with your optometrist because you don't want to make a bad situation worse. However, if you are actively working to prevent glaucoma from developing, working out will strengthen your cardiovascular system. Exercise helps to make your heart and blood vessels more efficient in delivering oxygen to the cells, so your heart rate will be much slower when you are resting.

Glaucoma can be a devastating diagnosis, but if you have a healthy lifestyle and schedule regular eye exams, you should enjoy healthy vision throughout your life. 


About Me

Chiropractic Healing Works

I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.