Glaucoma is a group of related diseases that cause damage to the eye’s optic nerve and result in visual impairment or blindness. Most often, glaucoma occurs in the presence of increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye). However, glaucoma can also occur when intraocular pressure is normal (although treatment that reduces the pressure appears to benefit this kind of glaucoma too).
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of legal blindness in the U.S., and the first leading cause of blindness in African-Americans. Unfortunately, most of the time glaucoma presents no symptoms until permanent damage has been done. It is estimated that 2.5 million Americans have glaucoma—and half of these people do not know they have it. For this reason, regular checkups are advisable for people at high risk for glaucoma. Risk factors include:
- African-American descent
- Age over 60
- Family history of glaucoma
- Use of corticosteroid drugs (including steroid inhalers for asthma)
Physicians diagnose glaucoma by measuring intraocular pressure as well as by examining the optic nerve and using special vision tests. Eye drops that reduce intraocular pressure are safe and highly effective for most cases of glaucoma.
Proposed Natural Treatments
Coleus forskohliiColeus forskohlii
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -