Common eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration can result in significant loss of vision or even blindness in some cases. Treatments for these conditions would vary. Some may be resolved by simply taking prescribed medications. Some conditions would require you to wear eye glasses or contact lenses. In extreme cases, you may need to undergo surgery.
When you begin to observe that something appears to be wrong with your eyes, you should consult your optometrist immediately. He will conduct a thorough examination of your eye to determine what is causing your eye disease. Based on the results of the tests, he will inform you of your treatment options and prescribe required medications, if any.
When your optometrist confirms that you are indeed suffering from an eye disease, discuss with him the possibility of treating your condition with herbal supplements. Ask him about the potential benefits of these herbal treatments on your condition and if they are appropriate for you. You need to inform your doctor about other medical and eye health conditions you may have so he can accurately assess if such herbal remedies are advisable for you. Do not start using herbal supplements without consulting your optometrist lest they contribute to the worsening of your eye disease.
It is important to understand that alternative treatments for eye disease are best done before there is a problem. If you have been diagnosed with an eye disease what is imperative is that you are treated in a manner that has been proven in clinical studies. Herbal treatments in no way have had rigorous study so they only should be used to either complement traditional treatments or used before there is an issue in trying to avoid future issues.
Here are some herbal treatments that you may discuss with your optometrist relative to an eye condition that you might be concerned about:
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract contains several antioxidants and components that can be beneficial to your eyes. The extract can help reduce your risks in developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate regimen and the dosage that will be ideal for you.
Note, however, that grape seed extract may not be advisable if you are taking blood thinners since this herbal supplement may increase your risks for bleeding.
Bilberry is a plant that produces small berries that resemble blueberries. The bilberry fruit contains antioxidants that can help prevent certain eye diseases such as the following:
• It can help prevent cataracts that affect your vision.
• It can prevent the development of macular degeneration which damages your straight-ahead vision.
Ginkgo biloba is the extract that comes from the leaves of the ginkgo tree. This herbal supplement can help address the following eye diseases:
• It has some benefits for people suffering from glaucoma, an eye condition that is caused by a high eye pressure which damages the optic nerve. While ginkgo biloba does not have known positive effects on eye pressure, one study shows that it can help improve the vision of persons with glaucoma possibly by increased blood flow to the optic nerve.
• It can help retard the progression of damage caused by macular degeneration. Again if this is true it is probably by increased blood flow to the macula, which in turn helps remove toxins from the very delicate macula area.
None of the above herbal supplements have been tested in long term controlled clinical studies, so should be only used in conjunction with traditional treatments that have been through gold standard clinical trials.
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