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Glaucoma is a condition in which the nerve cells which transmit information from the eye to the brain are damaged. It is often associated with a build-up of pressure in the eye and ultimately leads to blindness. It is particularly dangerous as there are usually no symptoms until permanent damage has occurred. Symptoms can include blurred vision, apparent coloured rings around lights, loss of side vision, and pain and redness of the eye.

In Australia it is estimated that 1:100 people will develop glaucoma but half of those will not know even know they have it. As such, the first objective is for people over the age of 40, to have regular eye checks as prevention is better than cure.

From a naturopathic perspective, the most important strategies are to reduce oxidation and pressure in the eye area. Antioxidants can be found in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium; herbal medicines such as Bilberry, Gingko and Grape seed extract; fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables including orange, yellow, red and purple colours and herbal teas such as rosehips, hibiscus and rooibos. These antioxidants can offer protection from further damage. Some of the nutrients (Zinc and vitamin A especially) are essential for general eye health and vision as well. From a lifestyle perspective if you’re overweight, your first key to good health is to reach your ideal body weight. Quit smoking, exercise and reduce your stress as much as possible.