Diets Rich in Green, Leafy Vegetables Could Help Reduce Glaucoma Risk
Glaucoma is the leading causes of blindness in America, affecting an estimated 3 million people in the U.S. and causing total blindness for approximately 120,000 Americans. Medication can manage this progressive eye disease, but currently there is no cure. Doctors at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School recently published a study in JAMA Ophthalmology regarding the role of diet in preventing glaucoma. A study of 63,893 women and 41,094 men over the age of 40 with no history of glaucoma found that over a 26-28 year period, 1,483 participants developed glaucoma. During the assessment period, doctors tracked the participants’ diets to measure their green vegetable intake. Green vegetables are an excellent source of dietary nitrate, which is a beneficial compound in improving blood circulation. Because glaucoma is, in part, caused by diminished blood flow to the optic nerve, the study sought to discover if more dietary nitrates would decrease glaucoma risk. The participants who consumed the highest servings of green vegetables, equaling roughly 240 mg of nitrate, had a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. While most green vegetables contain significant levels of nitrate, two in particular stood out as the best sources: kale and collard greens. Other high-nitrate choices include the following.
- Green beans
Untreated Glaucoma Can Progress to Total Blindness
As glaucoma progresses, vision also progressively diminishes until total blindness occurs. Most glaucoma patients can stave off blindness with constant treatment and check-ups, but even with regular treatment a severe case of glaucoma could lead to total blindness. If you or a loved one suffers from total blindness, you may be entitled to receive special disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. For help with your claim, contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!