Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to permanent loss of vision if the condition is not treated. Pressure within the eye, called intraocular pressure, increases and can hamper normal drainage of eye fluids. Both of these factors can cause the optic nerve to become damaged. Glaucoma is most prevalent in adults over the age of 60. African Americans and Americans of Mexican heritage have a higher risk than other ethnic and racial groups, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). Medications and lifestyle adjustments can help reverse the signs of glaucoma, though in some cases, loss of vision cannot be regained.
Have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist every year or two to check for signs of glaucoma. Early stages of the disease do not display symptoms even when the optic nerve is beginning to show damage, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF). Diagnosing glaucoma early can help reverse its course more effectively than waiting for symptoms to show up.
Use the eye drops or other medications prescribed by your doctor to help reverse the signs of glaucoma. Beta blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and cholingeric drugs are all used to lower intraocular pressure and to promote proper drainage of eye fluids. Even if you do not experience vision changes due to glaucoma, it's important to keep using the medications.
Get some daily exercise. The Glaucoma Research Foundation explains that being physically active may be a natural way to reduce eye pressure that contributes to glaucoma. Biking and walking were among the activities shown to be effective with some patients.
Cut out caffeine from your diet as a way to help reverse glaucoma. Caffeine may cause eye pressure to rise temporarily, which can be a precursor to glaucoma. Not all instances of elevated eye pressure lead to eye disease, but eliminating the stimulant from your diet may be able to improve your condition.
Eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants. A study of age-related eye diseases funded by the National Eye Institute showed that zinc, copper, and vitamins E and C may slow the progression of macular degeneration, another eye disease. The studies showed that these substances may promote eye health and could possibly reverse the signs of glaucoma as well.