Natural Remedies for High IOP + Glaucoma
How to treat and prevent glaucoma naturally and it is not just what you eat. There are other powerful tools that help, including sleeping position.
Disclaimer: High intraocular eye pressure (IOP) and glaucoma are serious diseases. It is absolutely necessary to be in medical care. The tips provided here can help, but cannot replace adequate professional medical treatment.
There is a good article written about possible alternative tips to help with high IOP and glaucoma. It contains a description of many food supplements. Please have a look at it: Alternative Treatments for Glaucoma1.
In addition, please find some tips below.
Being able to measure the intraocular eye pressure (IOP) at home during the day and night can help to figure out what influences the IOP. And it might make it possible to identify behaviors that reduce the IOP. For example, drinking a large amount of water at once can increase the IOP significantly 30 minutes later. It might be better to take slow sips of a longer period of time. Physical activity also has been reported by some people on fiteyes.com to reduce IOP.
When closing the eyelids and poking ones own eyes, it might be possible for some people to estimate very roughly the IOP. One possible process is as follows: close the eye lids, look down (with closed eyelids) and poke the eye at the top where the eye white is. This is more likely to be possible if the swings in IOP are large and hence the difference between 5 points might be felt. It will not be possible for smaller changes, like 3 points. It also requires fine motor skills and sensibility.
Self Tonometry Devices
There are, unfortunately, only very few tonometry devices on the market for self tonometry:
- The iCare Home 2 is one.
- A more accurate device is the Reichert 7CR. It is not made for self tonometry. It has a touch screen on the backside. By placing a sticker on the touch screen below the virtual start button, one can start the measuring procedure with the finger while sitting in front of it. The procedure is discussed in more detail on fiteyes.com
A lengthy discussion of devices for home tonometry can be found on: fiteyes.com/tags/home-tonometry. Please register on the website to be able to see all discussions regarding self tonometry.
Glaucoma is negatively affected by high intraocular eye pressure (IOP). A study showed that the intraocular pressure is significantly decreased by sleeping with an elevated head position2. Another study showed that in order to achieve that it is better to elevate the head part of the bed than to use multiple pillows3.
Unfortunately, elevating only the head or upper chest while sleeping results in a bent spine. Another way to achieve a higher head is to bring the whole bed into elevation. It is then called Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT). Depending on what bed is to be elevated, two wooden wedges can achieve it (one on each side of the bed). For writing this article, unfortunately, no study was found that measured the effects of an inclined bed versus raising only the bed head. In the YouTube video below Andrew Fletcher shows a possible way to elevate a bed.
The bed elevation wedges are also often sold as reflux relief.
If you are worried about spine compression when not lying flat, there is a good habit of stretching the spine while sleeping as described int the book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale.
Also, it might be beneficial to sleep on your back.
Bilberry and mangesium might help. Please have a look at the already mentioned article: Alternative Treatments for Glaucoma
It has been reported that physical exercise might lower IOP afterwards.
Two studies4,5 showed a powerful decrease in IOP in fasting people. But another study6 did not find such an effect. And another study7 did also find such an effect, but only for people fasting enough to loose weight during the process.
The exact details on under what circumstances fasting lowers IOP seems not yet to have been found out. It may be food deprivation (carbohydrates, protein, or fat) or fluid deprivation and it might also be dependent on how long the fasting period lasts. It would need to be figured out using self-tonometry, if any fasting has an meaningful effect.