Author of Coping With Glaucoma and Glaucoma: Patient to Patient, Edith Marks talks to us today about how to deal with this eye disease. One of the issues that has come to light within the last six or seven years is blood flow. Normal-pressure glaucoma was certainly implicated in that. Not enough blood carrying the nutrients of oxygen gets to the optic nerve, and blood flow is limited. It doesn’t get in the capillaries.
There are a number of patients in our group who kept losing sight at normal pressure. They found that when they measured their blood flow at night, when there is a blood pressure dip, it became very low. That meant that during sleep, patients were not getting enough blood into the eye. They advised these patients to eat salty foods before bed.
They also hospitalized patients and did a diurnal evaluation of taking pressures every two or three hours just to see how much blood flow got into the eye. Now they have extrapolated this to open-angle glaucoma, and they feel that many of the glaucomas do not have enough blood flow. This is one of the fluids in the eye.
The fluid in the spinal cord is also implicated. They have discovered that patients with glaucoma don’t have as much fluid as patients who don’t have glaucoma. That’s another factor that may affect glaucoma.
High blood pressure is associated with glaucoma not because it causes high IOP but because the blood doesn’t get into the capillaries, and the capillaries cannot then feed oxygen into the optic nerve. If the optic nerve does not get oxygen, it begins to die. You begin to get deterioration, and your visual fields don’t look very good. It’s all connected.
How to Improve Circulation to Heal Glaucoma
Edith tells us that exercise certainly helps a lot. Exercise is known to reduce the pressure. It also gets the oxygen level up. There’s the recommendation that certain patients should do aerobic exercise.
There’s a problem with certain kinds of glaucoma. With exfoliation and pigmentary glaucoma, little particles will be loosened and may get into the trabecular meshwork. They don’t recommend aerobic exercise, but walking is always good. If you can walk two miles a day, that’s great. If you can walk three miles a day, that’s even better. If you can walk five miles a day, that’s great. This is very important because that really revs the body up.
Glaucoma, Allergies, and Free Radicals
Edith tells us that shortly after her glaucoma, she began to think about what she was eating. Somebody said to her, “Maybe glaucoma is caused by allergies,” so she went for a test of allergies and found that she was sensitive to wheat, milk, eggs and basically all the foods she was eating, so she began to change my diet and stay off those foods.
A very interesting thing happened. Edith tells us that her skin cleared up, and people said, “Edith, you look so great. What have you been doing?” She began to feel great. She began to think, “Is this going to affect my glaucoma also?”
After reading further and finding out there was something called free radicals. Free radicals are a very important factor because in the eye, they kill the neurons. The more free radicals you have, the more likely it is that you’re going to have damage.
Free radicals are caused by any number of things, but we have a wonderful way of eliminating free radicals. That’s with antioxidants. Where do we find our antioxidants? They’re in deep green and wonderful vegetables. Fruits, berries and yellow fruits all contain elements that will squash free radicals.
The reason is that plants are getting their energy from the sun because, of course, plants cannot do anything without the sun. They also have to protect themselves from the free radicals that are caused, so they develop these antioxidants. That’s why plants are such a superfood.
The plants you really want to eat are the deep green vegetables. You want to eat them not cooked to death but lightly cooked and possibly raw if you can handle it. Older people find it very difficult to handle raw vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, the foods that are in this category, because they can’t digest them well. Just cook it a little bit, and your body will take care of the rest.
Melatonin, Serotonin, and Ginkgo Biloba
Melatonin and serotonin are brain chemicals. The optic nerve is part of the brain, and if you don’t have adequate melatonin, you’re going to be deficient in a very important area.
The third area is that there’s a lot of very good press on ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo biloba does wonderful things. It thins the blood and stops the platelets from being sticky so more blood can get into the eye.
It’s been used in Germany. They use a fairly high dose of ginkgo biloba when people get glaucoma. I don’t know whether they have better results from it, but it’s very interesting that they have found this a very important nutrient for the eyes.
Listen in for quality explanations of how these chemicals impact a homeopathic approach to healing glaucoma.