Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by an increase in pressure of the fluid within the eyeball (intraocular pressure), that leads to optic nerve damage and if not treated, causes impaired vision and sometimes blindness. It is found more often in those who are over 40, and in women more than men.

There are two main types of glaucoma; open angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma. Open angle type accounts for most glaucoma cases. With this type there usually are no symptoms during the early part of the disease; as the pressure increases slowly but persistently. Loss of vision is gradual and results in tunnel vision.

Closed angle glaucoma are usually accompanied by a sudden severe throbbing pain in the affected eye, blurred vision, sudden decreased vision, red eye, halos around light, a moderately dilated pupil, very high intraocular pressure, nausea and vomiting.

Closed angle glaucoma is a medical emergency. If not adequately treated it results in permanent blindness. Contact your doctor immediately.

Glaucoma has several causes, but is clearly related to stress and nutritional problems, and is often related to other disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Other causes may be due to tumor, trauma, infection, and in one type - heredity.

The improper flow of fluids appears to be caused by abnormalities in the structure of a protein called "collagen" in the eye. Problems with collagen (the most abundant protein in the human body) have been linked to glaucoma. Collagen acts to increase the strength and elasticity of tissues in the body, especially those of the eye.

Treatment of both types of glaucoma involves reducing the amount of pressure in the eye and improving the metabolism of collagen in the eye.

Not all cases of glaucoma can be prevented, but you may be able to reduce your risk of developing the disease. All nutrients are needed to aid in healing and to reduce intraocular pressure.

As with all dietary supplements, they should be used in amounts typically recommended for nutritional purposes only and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications. Discuss the following supplements with your physician.

Helpful Supplements:

Vitamin A as beta carotene, is needed for good eye sight. Essential in formation of visual purple, the substance necessary for night vision. Take 25,000 IU daily with meals.

Vitamin B complex helps reduce stress on the nervous system. Take 50 milligrams three times daily with meals.

Vitamin C reduces pressure; take as high a dose as you can tolerate without experiencing diarrhea. Start with 3,000 milligrams in divided doses and increase the amount you take to 10,000 milligrams in divided doses (or until you can not tolerate).

Vitamin E is helpful in removing particles from the lens of the eye. Its antioxidant actions protect the lens and other eye tissues. Take 400 IU daily.

Choline and inositol are important B vitamins for the eyes and the brain. Take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams daily.

Lecithin is an excellent source of choline and inositol. Take as directed on label.

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lens and maintains the molecular integrity of the lens fiber membranes. Take 500 milligrams twice a day on an empty stomach.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids protects and aids repair of new tissues and cells. Take as directed on label. Take with meals.

Rutin is an important bioflavonoid that works with vitamin C and aids in reducing pain and intraocular pressure. Take 50 milligrams three times daily.

Taurine is an antioxidant that protects the lens of the eye. Take as directed on label.

Chromium promotes the health of eye muscles, especially in diabetics. Take 200 to 400 micrograms daily.

Magnesium helps reduce intraocular pressure. Take 200 to 600 milligrams daily.

Zinc sulfate is very beneficial in glaucoma therapy. It is essential in activating vitamin A from the liver. Take 50 milligrams daily. DO NOT exceed 100 milligrams daily from all supplements.

Helpful Herbal Supplements:

Bilberry assists in collagen metabolism. It contains flavonoids and nutrients needed to protect the eyes from further damage.

Ginkgo biloba reduces intraocular pressure. In combination with zinc sulfate may slow progressive vision loss.

The herbs chickweed and eyebright are good for all eye disorders.

Rose hips supply valuable vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

Eyebaths using warm fennel tea (alternating with chamomile and eyebright), are helpful. Always dilute any herbal preparations used in the eyes. Avoid chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed.

Author's Bio: 

Edith Lingenfelter-webmaster of Age-old Herbs shows how "self defense" is natures oldest law on how to prevent your health concerns by means of natural healing herbs with herbal and dietary supplements. Learn how to protect your health by visiting