Can Diet Reduce Your Glaucoma Risk?
Did you know that it is possible to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma with a healthy diet? Medical experts recommend a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet for those at risk of developing glaucoma. Although there is no way to fully prevent the risk of developing glaucoma, a healthy diet never hurts! The benefits of a healthy diet go far beyond just reducing your risk for developing glaucoma, though. Not only will you improve your eye health, but also your overall physical and mental health, too! Read on for tips on which “vision” foods to include in your diet and how they can help lower your risk of developing glaucoma.
These foods include:
- Dark green, orange, and yellow veggies and fruits, which are great vision foods because they contain caratenoids, which may boost your body’s chances of preventing various medical conditions, including glaucoma.
- Spinach, collard greens, and other dark leafy greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which is essential for vision health. Other foods that contain lutein and zeaxanthin include brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, orange bell peppers, lima beans, and kale.
- Citrus fruits, tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries, and cantaloupe are high in Vitamin C and do plenty of good for your eyes and vision health. Other high in Vitamin C foods include leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and broccoli.
- Oysters, poultry, red meat, nuts, dairy products, and certain kinds of seafood all naturally contain zinc. These are another great option for a “vision” rich diet that can help boost your eye health.
It’s Not Just About Diet, Though
When it comes to reducing your risk for developing glaucoma, a vision rich diet is just one component of a comprehensive plan to boost your overall health. Other steps you can take to reduce your glaucoma risk include:
- not smoking
- quitting smoking if you are a current smoker
- maintaining a healthy weight
- regular exercise such as walking, swimming, and even gardening
- monitoring your blood pressure to say within normal levels
- managing any other medical conditions with the help of your doctor and following your prescribed treatment plan
- limiting caffeine. High levels of caffeine have been shown as possible factors in high eye pressure, which can lead to glaucoma
- not missing your regular eye exams
- updating your eye doctor as soon as possible about any vision changes, no matter how minor
- protecting yourself and your eyes from overexposure to sunlight with UVB sunglasses
Know Your Risk Factors
Risk factors for glaucoma include:
- Family history of glaucoma
- high eye pressure
- thin corneas
Age and ethnicity are also factors. Mexican-Americans see an increased risk for glaucoma at 60. For those who are of African-American descent, the risk for developing glaucoma increases at the age of 40. Other risk factors include:
- eye surgery
- eye injury
- high blood pressure
- very severe nearsightedness (myopia)
- use of corticosteroids including creams, inhalers, eye drops, and pills
If you think that you may be at risk of developing glaucoma, schedule an appointment at one of Vision Care of Maine’s locations!