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Save Your Sight:  Treating And Preventing Glaucoma With Mangosteen

Glaucoma is a disease that can damage the eye's optic nerve, resulting to progressive and irreversible vision loss and blindness. In majority of cases, the disease is associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye.  There are different sub-types of glaucoma but they are generally regarded as a form of optic neuropathy. Elevated intraocular pressure (above 21 mmHg) is an important risk factor for developing the disease. Once left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve and visual field loss, which can ultimately lead to blindness.

There are two main types of glaucoma, open angle and closed angle. Both are characterized by increased intraocular pressure.  Closed angle glaucoma can occur suddenly and can be quite painful. The problem must be addressed immediately as the condition can worsen quickly. On the other hand, open angle glaucoma usually develops at a slower rate and patients may not be aware of the problem until the disease has progressed significantly.

Everyone is at risk for developing glaucoma from newborns to senior citizens. Older people are more susceptible but babies can be born with this eye problem. Glaucoma has been dubbed as the ‘silent thief of sight’ because it gradually steals vision without warning and it takes place slowly over a long period of time. The problem is often only noticed during the advanced stages of the disease. Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of blindness. There is no treatment for glaucoma and the loss of vision cannot be regained. If the disease is diagnosed in its early stages, it is possible to halt the development or slow the progression with medication and eye surgery.

Glaucoma Symptoms

The symptoms actually depend on the type of glaucoma present. With open angle glaucoma, the most common form accounting for 90% of cases in the U.S., there are virtually no symptoms as it is usually painless and does not have acute attacks. The only notable symptoms are slowly progressive visual field loss and changes in the structure of the optic nerve. Vision loss starts with peripheral or side vision that’s why patients unconsciously compensate by turning the head to the side.

Closed-angle glaucoma is responsible for the remaining 10% of cases in the United States, but as much as half of glaucoma cases in other countries, particularly those in Asia. Approximately 10% of patients with this type present with acute angle closure problems that are characterized by sudden onset of ocular pain, red eye, seeing halos around lights, nausea and vomiting, high intraocular pressure, abrupt decline in visual acuity, and a fixed, mid-dilated pupil.

Glaucoma Treatment

Depending on the type of glaucoma, treatment may include medication or surgery in order to lower intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Medications usually involve the use of eye drops. There are various classes of medications available and there are different medications in each class. Patients using these medications must be aware of their purpose and potential side effects. These medications include alpha adrenergic agonists, beta blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, miotics (cholinergic agents) and prostaglandin analogs. All these have the same purpose: to either decrease the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye or improve its drainage.

Surgery is normally considered for advanced cases and when medications fail to achieve the desired result.  Laser and conventional surgeries are both used to treat glaucoma. Conventional surgeries are usually performed with the open-angle form and include trabeculectomy, peripheral iridotomy, goniotomy and trabeculotomy. Laser surgery is done on an outpatient basis after the eye has been numbed. A laser is directed to the ciliary body the iris, trabecular meshwork or the retina and is used in different ways to decrease eye pressure. Generally, surgeries only offer a temporary solution, as there is no cure yet for glaucoma.

Mangosteen Help for Glaucoma

The natural treatment for glaucoma is basically the same as that for any other medical condition associated with high toxicity and is primarily focused on preserving residual vision. Mangosteen is increasingly growing in popularity among patients with glaucoma because of its proven benefits.  Among the notable components found in mangosteen are compounds called xanthones, of which more than 40 types have been found in the fruit’s rind. They are powerful anti-oxidants that protect the delicate structures in the eyes from free radical damage. As such, xanthones improve visual acuity and help in the battle against glaucoma and other eye problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Since glaucoma has no known cure and symptoms may only manifest during the advanced stages when significant visual loss has already occurred, it would be wise to consider taking early and regularly in order to protect the eyes and avoid running the risk of developing glaucoma later in life. After all, mangosteen has so many positive nutritional components and advantages. Therefore, taking mangosteen supplements does not only improve and preserve eyesight but it benefits the body as a whole.

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Cataracts and glaucoma are the result of radiation damage to the lens proteins in the eye. These conditions can be prevented by avoiding sun exposure and by supplementation with effective antioxidants such as those contained in mangosteen.

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