Glaucoma Information and Herbal Supplements

 

Glaucoma

Definition
Glaucoma is increased pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure), which results from greater production than outflow of the fluid of the eye (the aqueous humor). The normal intraocular pressure (IOP) is about 10 to 21 mm Hg. In chronic glaucoma, the IOP is usually mildly to moderately elevated (22 to 40 mm Hg). In acute glaucoma, the IOP is greater than 40 mm Hg.

Signs and Symptoms
Since patients in the early stages of chronic glaucoma rarely have symptoms, it is important that regular eye exams be included in their annual check-up, especially after the age of sixty. Chronic glaucoma can mean the gradual loss of peripheral vision, eventually resulting in tunnel vision.

Sign and symptoms of acute glaucoma include extreme pain, blurring of vision, reddened eyes and a fixed and dialated pupil. Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency. If you are showing any signs of glaucoma, consult an opthamologist immediately. Unless acute glaucoma is adequately treated within twelve to forty-eight hours, it can result in permanent blindness.

Causes
The cause of glaucoma appears to be an abnormality in the composition of supportive structures of the eye. Specifically, structural changes reflecting poor collagen integrity and function are the hallmarks of glaucoma. These changes lead to blockage of the flow of aqueous humor and result in elevated IOP readings. Glaucoma seems to have a strong hereditary trait as well.

Natural Medicines¹

Ginkgo Biloba


¹The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines, Michael Murray N.D., 04/2002

Natural Medicines

Milk Thistle


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