When it comes to glaucoma there are a lot of unknowns.  Whilst there are risk factors, no one knows for sure what causes it.  Whilst there are treatments that can help manage the condition, there is no definitive cure.

The same is true when it comes to diet.  It is very likely that certain foods have a positive effect on glaucoma whilst others have a negative effect.  Unfortunately, at the moment there is no definitive link between glaucoma and diet.  In this article I will be examining the available evidence and listing three foods that increase your glaucoma risk. 

Coffee

Drinking coffee raises intraocular pressure (fluid pressure) within the eye temporarily after consumption.  Whilst increased intraocular pressure does not cause glaucoma, it is a risk factor.  By controlling your consumption of coffee you can reduce the impact of this risk factor.

Fast Food

Fast food is something you should be eating very little of if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle.  It contains a long list of unhealthy ingredients but the worst by far are trans fats.  These nasty substances are highly hazardous to humans and can cause cancer and heart disease.

Whilst there are no direct links between trans fats and glaucoma, they can damage the blood vessels that supply your eyes and optic nerve.  This can then potentially cause the optic nerve to become damaged and lead to the onset of glaucoma.  By cutting down on fast foods you can reduce the impact of trans fats on the blood vessels and minimise this risk. 

Refined Sugar

Refined sugar causes your blood glucose levels to rise rapidly after consumption.  Over time this rapid increase in blood glucose can damage your blood vessels.  The damage doesn’t stop there either.  Your body responds to these elevated blood glucose levels by releasing a large amount of insulin.  Having a large amount of insulin in your blood then leads to high blood pressure which causes further damage to the blood vessels.  If any of this damage affects the blood vessels that supply your eyes or optic nerve it can lead to glaucoma. 

Summary

The research on glaucoma and diet is still in the very early stages.  However, I hope this article has highlighted some of the foods that could increase your risk.  Try to limit your coffee consumption to one or two cups each day and make sure when you do eat fast food and sugar it is an occasional treat.

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