Good News About Glaucoma
Julian Whitaker, MD
Glaucoma (or ocular hypertension) is a condition marked by an increase in inner eye pressures and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. After cataracts, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. It’s been diagnosed in nearly 2.3 million Americans and likely affects at least 2 million more, most of them over the age of 60. A first-degree relative with glaucoma does increase risk, so it’s a good idea to do what you can to prevent this problem.
Lifestyle measures, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation, are protective, as is supplemental vitamin C (at least 2,000–3,000 mg daily), which helps lower intraocular pressures. However, my number-one recommendation is a new herbal supplement called Mirtogenol. Studies suggest that this blend of bilberry and pycnogenol normalizes pressures within the eye and reduces the risk of developing glaucoma.
In one study, 20 people with slightly elevated intraocular pressures took 240 mg of Mirtogenol daily. After three months, 19 of them had significant decreases in eye pressures, while only one of 18 in a control group experienced improvements. At the end of the six-month study, the Mirtogenol group also had marked improvements in blood flow in the ocular arteries.
A 2010 clinical trial tested six months of daily use of 120 mg of Mirtogenol, the prescription eye drop Latanoprost, or a combination of the two in patients with average intraocular pressures of 38.1 mmHg (normal is less than 21). Although the combination of the prescription eye drops and Mirtogenol was most effective, lowering eye pressures to 23 mmHg, Mirtogenol alone performed extremely well, decreasing pressures by nine points and increasing ocular blood flow in a manner similar to that of the drops.
- Supplemental vitamin C is widely available in health food stores and online. Mirtogenol is relatively new and may be harder to find, but it can be ordered from the clinic by calling (800) 810-6655.
- To see a physican trained in the natural treatment of vision problems, call the Whitaker Wellness Institute at (866) 944-8253.
Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.