Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that result in damage to the optic nerve as they progress. In basic terms, glaucoma results in abnormally high pressure in a person’s eye, which negatively impacts the optic nerve. Glaucoma is ranked as one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. And while glaucoma typically affects people 60 and over, it technically can occur at any age.

Over 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, but only about 50 percent are aware that they have this eye condition. This is because in most cases, glaucoma develops slowly and isn’t even noticed by many people with the condition. Recent research reveals that a person’s diet appears to be capable of lowering the risk of glaucoma.

The Study on Glaucoma and Diet

A research study conducted at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai studied the correlation between diet and the development of glaucoma. The study specifically concluded that a long-term diet that is low in carbohydrates as well as high in fat and protein from vegetables has the potential to lower the risk of the most common type of glaucoma known as primary open angle glaucoma. 

Data derived from the study suggests that this type of diet can lower the risk of glaucoma and visual loss by about 20 percent. The complete results of the Mount Sinai research study have been published in the journal Eye-Nature.

The Mount Sinai research is classified as an observational study. What this means is that researchers evaluated individuals who adhered to a long-term low-carb diet. The study represents the first time the impact of this type of low-carb diet has on the risk of developing glaucoma. The next step in considering the impact of this type of diet on the incidence of glaucoma would be clinical trials, and plans are currently being made for these types of trials.

Beyond considering diet, an important strategy to protect against the onset of glaucoma is to schedule an annual eye care appointment. Eye doctors include testing for glaucoma as a matter of routine eye care exam.

You can schedule an eye care appointment with one of the eye doctors at Matossian Eye Associates by calling (800) 708-8800, or by visiting the appointment request form online. You can obtain a comprehensive exam from one of our eye doctors any time that is convenient for you. Again, such an appointment will include an evaluation of your eyes to detect any evidence of the development of glaucoma.