If you or your friend or a family member have been recently diagnosed with glaucoma, you may have many questions about the disease and its effects. Well, do not worry, we heard you. In this article, we will answer all your questions about your eating habits so keep reading the article to learn more. 

Other questions may arise: “Is glaucoma affected by the foods? What foods to avoid when diagnosed with glaucoma? What are the foods that can help slow the progression of the disease? Do foods help in slowing or worsening the disease?. Let’s go over all of these!

What food should you avoid if you have glaucoma and why?

When you suffer from glaucoma, it affects your ability to see clearly and impairs your vision. To make matters worse, there is no cure for glaucoma, and the damage is irreversible. Hence, along with taking medications, you should take additional measures that may help to control your disease or slow the progression. Certain foods can be harmful if you have glaucoma. Following are the food items that you should avoid and why they should be consumed.

Stop consuming fatty acids to help your glaucoma

Fatty acids are linked with high cholesterol levels and are known to cause damage to blood vessels, even in your eyes. Any nerve damage in glaucoma is irreversible. Regular intake of fatty foods in the diet can damage the optic nerve and could worsen your glaucoma

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Coffee and glaucoma do not mix

Caffeine in coffee can raise the pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure – IOP), which may cause optic nerve damage and worsen your glaucoma

Avoid simple carbohydrates if you have glaucoma

Simple Carbohydrates can cause an increase in insulin levels. Raised insulin levels can cause an increase in pressure in the eye and blood pressure (intraocular pressure – IOP), which may cause optic nerve damage and worsen your glaucoma

Food allergens to avoid if you have glaucoma

 If you are allergic, make sure you stay clear of the food items you are allergic to. Food allergies can trigger and worsen your glaucoma

Saturated fats should be avoided if you have glaucoma

Food rich in saturated fats can cause obesity, which can lead to other eye conditions or can worsen glaucoma

Do certain foods make glaucoma worse?

Yes, certain food items may make glaucoma worse. You should avoid the following food items:

  • Coffee
  • Fried foods (fries, fried chicken)
  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Donuts
  • Red meats (beef, lamb, or pork)
  • Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Cereal

Why do these foods make glaucoma worse?

As mentioned above, these food items directly or indirectly increase the pressure in your eye (intraocular pressure – IOP), which may cause optic nerve damage and worsen your glaucoma. Certain food items may trigger an allergic reaction, which may worsen glaucoma. 

What kind of food is good for you and why can they help with glaucoma?

What fruits and vegetables are good for glaucoma?

Eating healthy, balanced, nutritious foods will help the body and improve your eye health. These foods provide your body with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can help in glaucoma. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and natural vitamins crucial for eye health.

Vitamin A and C help with glaucoma

These fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, vitamins, and antioxidant properties. Carotenoids are beneficial for vision health. At the same time, research suggests that Vitamins (mainly A and C) reduce the risk and symptoms of glaucoma. Antioxidant properties help reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress to the optic nerve.

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Are eggs good for glaucoma?

Eggs are a great food to eat for your eye health. Egg contains Vitamin A, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, essential to eye health.

Are bananas good for glaucoma?

Bananas are a great source of magnesium that helps in glaucoma by improving the blood flow to the eye.

Is cucumber  good for glaucoma?

Yes, cucumber contains lutein and zeaxanthin, vital for eye health.

Is ginger good for glaucoma?

Animal studies have demonstrated antiglaucoma activity, and it has demonstrated that it can help reduce intraocular pressure, which suggests that it can help in glaucoma. However, more research needs to be conducted.

Are apples good for glaucoma?

Like all other fruits, apples are good for glaucoma because of the various essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidant properties. 

Is papaya good for glaucoma?

Research suggests that high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect against diseases like glaucoma and cataracts. Papaya contains these two particular nutrients. 

Is milk good for glaucoma?

Milk contains Vitamin D, which may help prevent vision loss due to glaucoma. Research indicates low levels of Vitamin D increase the pressure in the eye and cause changes in the optic nerve, suggesting people with Vitamin D deficiency are at the risk of glaucoma. 

Is turmeric good for glaucoma?

Research indicates curcumin (a chemical component) of turmeric can treat the early stages of glaucoma. However, more research needs to be conducted to substantiate the claim.

So what is the best fruit for glaucoma?

Most fruits are good for glaucoma when consumed in the correct quantity. Most of them are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and possess antioxidant properties. 

Is fruit juice good for glaucoma? What is the best juice or whole fruit?

You can drink fresh fruit juices that do not contain sugar if you have glaucoma. It would be best to consume whole fruits instead of fruit juices. 

Are vitamins and supplements good for glaucoma?

Some evidence does point out that taking vitamins and supplements is suitable for glaucoma. However, there is not much evidence to support the claim. More research needs to be conducted to substantiate the claim of vitamins and supplements. It would help if you discussed this with your doctor about the benefits of the same.

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What medications can help with glaucoma?

The damage may not be reversed once you get glaucoma. Follow-ups and treatments can delay the progression of the disease or prevent vision loss, especially if treatment is initiated in the early stages. Depending on the progression of the disease, your treatment options may prescribe eye drops, laser treatment, oral medications, surgery, or a combination of any of these.

Medications for glaucoma include:

  • Eyedrops: It is most likely that your treatment of glaucoma will begin with eye drops. The medications reduce the eye pressure by enhancing the fluid drains from your eye or reducing the amount of fluid your eye makes. Prescription eye drops medications include prostaglandins, beta-blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists, Rho-kinase inhibitors, cholinergic agents, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • Oral medications: Oral medications may be prescribed along with eye drops if eye drops do not work to reduce the eye pressure to the required levels. Usually, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are orally prescribed.
  • Other therapies: Other treatment procedure includes laser therapy and different surgical procedures that aim to improve drainage of the eye, thus lowering the eye pressure

So which foods should be avoided if you have glaucoma and what medications can help?

These medications should be taken regularly as they help you reduce the symptoms of glaucoma and slow the progression of the disease. Fruits and vegetables can be taken while taking the medications, and you should always consult your doctor before starting the same.

Though some research indicates that consuming fruits and vegetables can help reduce or halt the disease’s progression, there is insufficient data to back the claims. More importantly, these medications have been scientifically proven. 

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