Ophthalmology in the News
High blood pressure medications can be harmful with glaucoma patients.
Maneli Mozaffarieh, MD and Josef Flammer, MD published a report entitled “Is there More to Glaucoma Treatment then Lowering the Intraocular pressure? In this article they stress the importance of protecting the optic nerve in glaucoma. Low pressure increases the probability of visual field loss. They even suggest methods of increasing the blood pressure to improve circulation of the nerve. (I feel that all glaucoma patients with nerve damage should reconsider taking their high blood pressure medication) In this article vascular improvement can be improved by taking carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and magnesium. Omega -3 fatty acids and cacao beans are also beneficial due to their vasorelaxing properties.
The article reports on the benefits of antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress to improve the function of the optic nerve. Green tea, coffee, dark chocolate and red wine contains polyphenolic compounds that reduce free radicals. Yes coffee! Not only does it have a polyphenol it also contains a selective compound that reduces peroxynitrate a free radical that damages the nerve.
Fruits that are rich in anthocyanosides such as bilberry are a powerful antioxidant. Other helpful compounds that the authors mention are coenzyme Q10 and melatonin.
Glaucoma Topics and Trends 2007 Issue #6