January is Glaucoma Awareness MonthGlaucoma is a common eye condition that often causes optical nerve damage and when left untreated can lead to blindness. In the United States, just about one million Americans live with glaucoma; world-wide, it’s closer to 60 million. Glaucoma is recognized as one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. This is a short summary of natural remedies to integrate into life to help manage glaucoma. A person should ALWAYS take any prescription meds for this condition.
Cannabigerol (CBG)Almost universally recognized in medical marijuana states as a qualifying condition numbers of people have turned to cannabis to help their condition. CBG is non-psychotropic – does not make you high. Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures, and interestingly, CBG (a cannabinoid) is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma because it:
- Reduces intraocular pressure (eye pressure)
- It is a powerful vasodilator (dilates blood vessels to reduce pressure)
- Has incredible neuroprotective agents
The Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD OilCBD may seem complicated when you begin to research it, so here is a break it down. The cannabis plant contains a few different types of beneficial compounds:
- Cannabinoids. There are more than 100 cannabinoids (including CBG).
- Terpenes. The more than 150 terpenes in cannabis affect the plant’s fragrance. They can also have therapeutic benefits.
- Flavonoids. Cannabis includes about 20 different flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in plants, including fruits, vegetables and grains. They also have therapeutic effects. Studies show that the flavonoids found in cannabis have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties.
Other Natural Ways to Integrate into your Glaucoma Regimen
Eating and Drinking RightAlthough there is no conclusive studies that prove a connection between specific foods and glaucoma, it’s logical to assume that what we eat and drink and our health have an effect on this disease. Some studies show that significant caffeine intake, over a short period of time, can slightly elevate intraocular eye pressure (IOP) for up to three hours. However, others indicate that caffeine really has no consequential impact on IOP. To be safe, those with glaucoma are advised to limit their caffeine intake to moderate levels. In other studies, it’s been shown that as many as 80% of people with glaucoma who consume a quart of water within twenty minutes may experience elevated IOP. Since most diet programs stress the importance of drinking at least eight glasses of water per day, people with glaucoma are encouraged to consume water in small amounts throughout the day.
The Use of BilberryBilberry is an extract of the European blueberry; and is available to purchase by the mail and in some health food stores. Bilberry is often advertised as an antioxidant eye health supplement. Some claim it can protect and strengthen the capillary walls of the eyes, and therefore is especially effective in protecting against glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. There is some data showing that bilberry may improve night vision and even recovery time from glare, however there is no direct evidence that it is effective in the treatment or prevention of glaucoma.
Yoga and Recreational Body InversionThe long-term effects of a continual head-down or inverted position on the optic nerve has not been adequately demonstrated. However, due to the potential for increased IOP, people with glaucoma should be careful about these types of exercises. Glaucoma patients should let their doctors know if yoga shoulder and headstands or any other recreational body inversion exercises that result in head-down or inverted postures over extended periods of time are part of their exercise routines.
Self-Regulation TechniquesThe results of studies regarding changes in IOP following relaxation and biofeedback sessions have generated some optimism in controlling selected cases of open-angle glaucoma, but further research is still needed. Findings that reduced blood pressure and heart rate can be achieved with relaxation and biofeedback techniques show promise that non-medicinal and non-surgical techniques may be effective methods of treating and controlling open-angle glaucoma.
Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772142/ https://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/what-vitamins-and-nutrients-will-help-prevent-my-glaucoma-from-worsening.php