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Glaucoma

Glaucoma

Description

Glaucoma, the most preventable cause of blindness, is an eye disorder which results from increased pressure within the eyeball. Fluids within the eyeball become unable to circulate and drain normally, resulting in increased internal eye pressure. This causes damage to the structures and nervous tissues of this sense organ. There are two primary forms of glaucoma: chronic open angle and acute closed angle.

Chronic open angle glaucoma accounts for 90% of all cases. It develops when pressure elevates gradually, such that normal fluid drainage slows, but is not completely obstructed. Overproduction of aqueous fluid or obstruction of fluid outflow can cause the increased pressure.

Acute closed angle glaucoma is rare and occurs when sudden pressure forces the iris at an angle into the cornea. Fluid drainage from the anterior chamber of the eye is now blocked. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent blindness.

Glaucoma is common in persons over age 40. It affects more women than men and accounts for 15% of all cases of blindness in the United States.

Glaucoma can lead to partial or complete loss of vision and is not correctable with glasses. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are important. Treatments include medications to increase fluid drainage, laser therapy, and surgery.

Causes

Primary Factors
The primary cause of Glaucoma is unknown.

Predisposing Factors
Aging, eye infections, eye injuries, cataracts, eye tumor, vascular eye disorders, hyperopia, congenital defects, hereditary predisposition, vasomotor instability, diabetes mellitus and long-term use of certain drugs, especially corticosteroids.

Signs & Symptoms

Chronic open angle glaucoma

Gradual and usually painless visual deterioration; if pain is present, it is mild and usually around one side of the eye
Distorted peripheral vision
Foggy or blurred vision
Reduced visual acuity, especially at night
Difficulty adjusting to brightness or darkness
Perception of white halos or circles around light most visible in the dark when looking at a distant light; this is a primary indicator of chronic glaucoma
Headache
Frequent requests for new lens prescriptions

Acute closed angle

Moderate pupil dilation which is nonreactive to light
Extreme eye pain
Abruptly blinded vision
Pressure over the eye
Cloudy and steamy-appearing cornea
Decreased visual acuity
Congested and bulging iris
Photophobia
Lacrimation
Headache
Nausea
Malaise
Vomiting

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Vision Support &
        Immune System Support


---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

Adult
Bioflavonoids 500 - 1000 mg
Chromium 200 - 600 mcg
Hesperidin Complex 200 - 500 mg
Rutin 200 - 500 mg
Vitamin B-2 10 - 50 mg
Vitamin C1,000 - 3,000 mg
Vitamin E 200 - 400 IU



Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Carbohydrate Intolerance Diet

Moderate Sodium Restriction Diet

Homeopathic Remedy


1.*Euphrasia officinalis         - 15C long term use 6X
2. Spigelia                         - 15C, 6X long term
3. Prunus spinosa                 - 6C

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus
Cinnamon twig
Ginkgo
Plantago major seed
Rhubarb

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Discussion:

Ginkgo may be a surprising choice. However, although it is best known for being beneficial to the brain, it also increases circulation to eye tissues and decreases oxidative damage within the eyeball.

Since glaucoma involves a buld-up of pressure, Chinese medicine selects herbs which have a draining effect, usually in combination. These include: cinnamon twig, Plantago major seed and rhubarb.

Nutritive support is also recommended e.g. Vitamin C and carotenoids. Both have antioxidant properties and vitamin C may also lower intraocular tension. (Linner, 1969)

References:

Lebuisson, DA et al., Treatment of senile macular degeneration with Ginkgo biloba extract. A preliminary double-blind, drug versus placebo study. Presse Med. 1986, 15:1,556-1,558.

Lietti, A et al., Studies on Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides. Arzneim-Forsch. 1976, 26:829-832.

Linner, E: The pressure-lowering effect of ascorbic acid in ocular hypertension. Acta Ophthalmol. 1969, 47:685-689.

Raymond, L: Allergy and chronic simple glaucoma. Ann. Allergy, 1964 (22) :146-150.

Winston, D: Eclectic and botanical protocols for glaucoma. The Protocol J. of Botanical Med. Vol2 (2):72-92.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Onion Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Aging
Cataract
Congenital defects
Diabetes mellitus
Eye disorders
Headache
Hyperopia
Infection
Pain
Tumor
Vomiting

Abstracts

References

Bell RW & O'Brien C: The diagnostic outcome of new glaucoma referrals. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt, 1997 Jan, 17:1, 3-6.

Bell RW & O'Brien C: Accuracy of referral to a glaucoma clinic. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt, 1997 Jan, 17:1, 7-11.

Berkow, R. 1977. The Merck Manual. Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories Pub. Rahway, New Jersey. 2165 pp.

Bojic L et al., Venous tone in glaucoma and hypertension. Ophthalmic Res, 1997, 29:1, 6-11.

Chasroff, I.J. & J.W. Ellis. 1983. Family Medical Guide, William Morrow and Company Inc., Pub. 594 pp.

Classe JG: Glaucoma--a clinicolegal review. J Am Optom Assoc, 1997 Jun, 68:6, 389-94.

Ederer, F. & H.R. Taylor. Senile Lens Changes and Diabetes in Two Population Studies. American Journal Of Opthalmology, 91. 1981.

Gutierrez P et al., Influence of glaucomatous visual field loss on health-related quality of life. Arch Ophthalmol, 1997 Jun, 115:6, 777-84.

Hamilton, H. K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts. 1323 pp.

Hiller, R. & F. Ederer. Epidemiologic Associations with Cataract in the 1970-1972 National Hanes. Am J Epidemiology, 118. 1983.

Jonas JB et al., Parapapillary retinal vessel diameter in normal and glaucoma eyes. I. Morphometric data. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 1989 Jul, 30:7, 1599-603.

Katz J et al., Estimating progression of visual field loss in glaucoma. Ophthalmology, 1997 Jun, 104:6, 1017-25.

Kim S et al., The effect of a brief education program on glaucoma patients. J Glaucoma, 1997 Jun, 6:3, 146-51.

Krakau CE: Disk hemorrhages and retinal vein occlusions in glaucoma. Surv Ophthalmol, 1994 May, 38 Suppl:, S18-21; discussion S22.

Keller, G. Aidose Reductase Inhibitors and Cataract Formation. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd, 176. 1980.

Lane, B.C.: Elevation of Intraocular Pressure With Daily Sustained Close Work Stimulus to Accommodation of Lowered Tissue Chromium and Dietary Deficiency of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). Doc. Opthal. Proc. Series, 1981(28):149-155.

Lee SM et al., Possible mechanism of exacerbating cataract formation in cataractous human lens capsules induced by systemic hypertension or glaucoma. Ophthalmic Res, 1997, 29:2, 83-90.

Moorthy RS et al., Glaucoma associated with uveitis. Surv Ophthalmol, 1997 Mar-Apr, 41:5, 361-94.

Murray, M.T., & J.E. Pizzorno. 1991. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, Ca; Prima Publishing.

Nutrition and Cataracts. Nutrition Reviews, 32. 1984.

Rink H: Cataractogenic risk factors. Dev Ophthalmol, 1987, 15:, 66-76.

Shapiro A et al., Lack of association between hearing loss and glaucoma. Am J Otol, 1997 Mar, 18:2, 172-4.

Sonnsj” B & Krakau CE: Arguments for a vascular glaucoma etiology. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh), 1993 Aug, 71:4, 433-44.

Tuck MW & Crick RP: Screening for glaucoma. Why is the disease underdetected? Drugs Aging, 1997 Jan, 10:1, 1-9.

Vickers JC: The cellular mechanism underlying neuronal degeneration in glaucoma: parallels with Alzheimer's disease. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol, 1997 May, 25:2, 105-9.

Wang F et al., Racial variations in treatment for glaucoma and cataract among Medicare recipients. Ophthalmic Epidemiol, 1997 Jun, 4:2, 89-100.

Wyngaarden, J.B. & L.H. Smith. 1985. Cecil's Textbook of Medicine. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 2341 pp.

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