Discover which food and also drink need to be avoided and those that have to be incorporated into your glaucoma patient's diet.

You are watching: How to lower eye pressure with foods


I see myself as among the gatekeepers for my patient’s health and also a health educator. When I make a diagnosis the glaucoma or glaucoma suspect, in addition to learning around the medical management of that ocular disease, my patient inevitably want to know what they deserve to do to mitigate their risk of diagnosis or development of disease.

This article will emphasis on the latest medical research on foods, vitamins, and also supplements the may have actually an impact on glaucoma. This will aid you continue to be well educated of the latest advancements of complementary medication and permit you to carry out your patience a much more in-depth, holistic expertise of exactly how their dietary habits can influence their eye health.

Foods to avoid to if you have actually glaucoma


Coffee has actually been shown to rise intraocular press (IOP) and also cause that to remain elevated for at the very least 90 minutes.1 The Blue hill Eye Study uncovered a link between patients with primary open edge glaucoma (POAG) that reported continuous caffeine consumption and a greater mean IOP.2 Pasquale et al also detailed a positive correlation between arising pseudoexfoliative glaucoma and caffeine consumption.3

A current multicenter study discovered that patients who consumed high level of caffeine (>480 mg or ~four cups of coffee a day) and already had a higher genetic prejudice for high IOP had a 0.35 mmHg higher IOP 보다 those that consumed much less than 80 mg daily. For patients that consumed 3 cups daily (>321 mg daily) and had the greatest genetic prejudice for high IOP, there was actually a 3.9 fold higher glaucoma prevalence contrasted to those who consumed minimal or no caffeine and had low hereditary risk scores.4

A good, basic recommendation for patients would certainly be one cup of coffee a day, together this would be i can not qualify to affect their glaucoma. However, if they space drinking high amounts of coffee, they should think about decaffeinated. This is an especially important for patients who already have a family background of glaucoma.


Hydration is always important for great health, however excessive amounts of water in quick periods that time have the right to be dangerous. Drinking a quart of water in much less than five minutes has been shown to increase intraocular pressure; instead, advise your patient to drink small amounts the water frequently to stay hydrated.5

Earn as much as 11 hours of complimentary optometry CE from industry professionals when you to visit Eyes on 2022—join essentially December 3-5. Register now

Substances with no effect or small effect ~ above glaucoma


Alcohol has been shown to to decrease IOP within a short duration of time (60 minutes)6, yet does no have any effect on glaucoma diagnosis or progression. Patients have the right to safely drink alcohol without are afraid that the may impact their glaucoma. However, similar to everything, moderation is advised given the other health ramifications of drink alcohol.

AREDS supplements

AREDS additional were displayed to have no result on the diagnosis or progression of glaucoma in a prospective research by Garcia-Medina et al.7 In a sample of patients through mild come moderate POAG, there to be no measurable difference between groups the took the antioxidant supplements matches those the did not.

Omega 3/6 supplements

One the the propose contributors to the pathogenesis the glaucoma is one imbalance between omega-3 and also omega-6 fatty acids.8 while a recent prospective research has presented a greater risk for glaucoma linked to a high omega 3:6 dietary ratio intake9(lower omega-6 amounts), the enhancement of omega-3 additional did not yield any benefit to POAG patients in the Garcia-Medina study.7 given the lack of confirmatory evidence from the studies as well as the added systemic health benefits native both omega-3 and omega-6, it right now would no be encourage to recommend patients to change course on their fatty acid intake.


Vitamin A, B, and E, as supplements, have actually not been shown to have any kind of effect top top IOP.10 Vitamin C can have a lowering impact on IOP; however, huge doses are needed to reason such an effect, which likewise leads come detrimental side results such as diarrhea and also dehydration.11


Much has been made around the link in between marijuana and glaucoma, yet research proceeds to confirm that existing medical therapies room much much more effective at dealing with glaucoma.11 Marijuana has actually been presented to diminish IOP by 25% because that a short duration of time;12 however, because that this to be effective, the would must be taken numerous times a day.

Given the side results of raised risk because that emphysema and also lung cancer, in addition to loss of concentration and coordination, it would certainly be best to advise patients versus using marijuana because that the objective of lowering IOP. Irreversible studies have also shown no proven result on glaucoma.13

Recommended foods and also drink because that glaucoma patients

Nitrate rich leafy greens

In two huge studies, eat a diet well-off in nitrates, typically in the form of leafy environment-friendly vegetables, has been linked with a 20-30% lower risk of main open-angle glaucoma. In patient with at an early stage visual field loss nearby to central vision, the association was greater, mirroring a 40 come 50% lower risk.14

Dietary nitrates increase nitric oxide (NO), an area of recent increased interest because that POAG therapeutics. In POAG, the endogenous NO pathway is suspected to be compromised and a diet well-off in leafy greens, such together spinach, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, arugula, might offer an different pathway to boost NO production.

Fruits and vegetables

While vitamin supplements have actually not been presented to have actually an effect on glaucoma, multiple huge studies have supported the relationship in between eating foods items high in antioxidants, consisting of vitamin A, vitamin C, and carotenoids, and also a reduced glaucoma risk.15 greater than one serving a week of collard greens or kale reduced the odds of glaucoma through 57%, when consuming an ext than two servings a main of oranges or peaches likewise decreased odds of glaucoma. Higher consumption of carrots and also spinach also showed some association to protective trends.

Given the linked correlation in between glaucoma and also systemic diseases, such together diabetes and also heart disease, it provides sense that a heart-healthy diet that fruits and also vegetables may aid decrease the threat of glaucoma. A good mantra to remember: “If it’s an excellent for your heart, it’s good for glaucoma. If it’s an excellent for your brain, it’s an excellent for glaucoma.”16


The flavonoids in tea are known to reduce oxidative stress and improve blood flow, which are both mechanisms doubt to play a duty in glaucoma advancement and progression. A study by Wu et al confirmed that patients that consumed one cup of hot tea everyday had a 74% lessened risk of glaucoma contrasted to those that drank none.17 The study did not differentiate between the kind of tea spend (i.e., green, black or white).

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has actually been discovered to affect several various pathways of prestige to glaucoma, consisting of increasing ocular blood flow, enhancing retinal ganglion cabinet survival, and protecting versus oxidative stress. Multiple studies have displayed improved visual duty and decreased progression the visual ar loss in patients with glaucoma.18 However, a current study in China uncovered ginkgo biloba had no results on patients v normal-tension glaucoma.19


A pilot examine done in Iran (a top producer that saffron) showed that everyday intake the aqueous saffron extract for three weeks lessened IOP in patients through glaucoma. The proposed device was the antioxidative impacts of saffron.20

Moderate Exercise

A conversation with patients about dietary recommendations commonly goes hand-in-hand with recommendations for a non-sedentary lifestyle. One examine revealed that aerobic exercise (such together walking, swimming, biking) in ~ a brisk speed for 30-45 minutes 3 to four times a week lowered IOP and also improved blood flow to the eye and brain.21

Another study confirmed that all measures of physical activity—average procedures per day, minute of non-sedentary movement, and also greater time law moderate-to-vigorous physical activity—were associated with slower rates of visual ar loss in patients being treated for glaucoma.22

A meta-analysis revealed that practice in sedentary people had a greater result on lowering IOP 보다 in those who were already active.23 anxiety that exercise has actually an also greater result on lowering eye press in her patients who space not active than in those who are at this time active.

What to tell her patient

Based on the current research, there are several references that can be produced your glaucoma patients past the conventional clinical therapies. In addition to counseling her patients top top the importance of good compliance through topical therapies and follow-up visits, consider inquiring about their day-to-day caffeine intake, diet, and also physical task level. The scientific research supports limiting coffee, eating your fruits and vegetables (particularly those leafy greens), and a routine of moderate physical activity.

Patients must be recommend to:

Limit coffee come one cup and supplement with warm tea, which has actually been presented to have useful properties.Add nitrate-rich irpari greens to your diet, including kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, arugula, lettuce.Consume an ext fruits and also vegetables rich in Vitamin A, C and also carotenoids (i.e., oranges, peaches, carrots).Avoid excessive quantities of water in quick periods of time.Include moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming, biking, at the very least 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week.

See more: Creatine: How To Get The Most Out Of Creatine ? The Creatine Loading Phase

To continue being a gatekeeper for your patient’s health and playing a function in their wellness education, provide them through the information and tools come navigate their glaucoma diagnosis with confidence, knowing they space doing everything they can to decrease their risk for further progression and vision loss.