Glaucoma is one of the most commonly asked about eye conditions by patients at The Eye Practice. There seems to be a good knowledge around being related to increased eye pressure and family history.
What is not commonly known though is that there are a number of different forms of Glaucoma, the two main ones being:
- Open Angle Glaucoma - tends to affect Caucasians and especially African-Americans more.
- Closed Angle Glaucoma - tends to affect Asians more.
There are others and we will discuss the various forms of Glaucoma in another post.
What is also not commonly known is that reduced blood flow to the optic nerve is a risk factor for the Open Angle form of Glaucoma.
Treatment for Glaucoma typically is to attempt to reduce eye pressure by use of glaucoma eye drops; the most common being a family of drugs called Prostaglandin analogues. In most cases these are quite effective in reducing eye pressure to a safe level with minimal side effects but...
Are there any natural therapies that we could try?
There sure are! Believe it or not, studies have shown that 3 brisk exercise sessions per week can reduce eye pressure by an average of 20%. This is as effective as using an eye drop.
Well then, isn't that interesting. Exercise comes up again and again as a natural therapy for many chronic health conditions. So what is it about exercise that is so therapeutic? Well I think it is quite simple: Whoever designed human bodies, designed them to MOVE! By moving blood flow increases to all parts of the body including the eye and optic nerve.
Exercise has also been shown to help the following (please note this is not an exhaustive list):
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Back problems
- Macular Degeneration (we will discuss this important eye condition in a future post).