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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a buildup of fluid in the front part of your eye. This increases pressure on the nerve needed for sight. Damage to the nerve can cause loss of eyesight or blindness.
Medicines and surgery can help lower eye pressure. Some seek natural therapies to gain more control. They should not be used in place of standard treatment.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

  • Vitamin A is important for normal vision. It may benefit people with open angle glaucoma. B1
  • Vitamin C helps maintain connective tissue in the eye. It may benefit people with open angle glaucoma. B1

May Be Effective

  • Forskolin from the root of a plant in the mint family. It may lower eye pressure in people with open angle glaucoma. A3, A6
  • Rutin is a plant pigment in some fruits and veggies. It may lower eye pressure in people with open angle glaucoma when used with forskolin. A3

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Forskolin, homotaurine, carnosine, and folic acid supplement A7
  • Forskolin, rutin, and vitamins B1 and B2 supplement A4
  • Ginko biloba A1, A2, A5
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

References

A
Supplements
A1
Quaranta L, Bettelli S, et al. Effect of Ginkgo biloba extract on preexisting visual field damage in normal tension glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2003 Feb;110(2):359-362; discussion 362-364.
A2
Park JW, Kwon HJ, et al. Short-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on peripapillary retinal blood flow in normal tension glaucoma. Korean J Ophthalmol. 2011 Oct;25(5):323-328.
A3
Vetrugno M, Uva MG, et al. Oral administration of forskolin and rutin contributes to intraocular pressure control in primary open angle glaucoma patients under maximum tolerated medical therapy. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Oct;28(5):536-541.
A4
Nebbioso M, Rusciano D, et al. Treatment of glaucomatous patients by means of food supplement to reduce the ocular discomfort: a double blind randomized trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Apr;17(8):1117-1122.
A5
Guo X, Kong X, et al. Effect of Ginkgo biloba on visual field and contrast sensitivity in Chinese patients with normal tension glaucoma: a randomized, crossover clinical trial. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Jan 7;55(1):110-116.
A6
Majeed M, Nagabhushanam K, et al. Efficacy and safety of 1% forskolin eye drops in open angle glaucoma—an open label study. Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul-Sep;29(3):197-200.
A7
Mutolo MG, Albanese G, et al. Oral Administration of Forskolin, Homotaurine, Carnosine, and Folic Acid in Patients with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: Changes in Intraocular Pressure, Pattern Electroretinogram Amplitude, and Foveal Sensitivity. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Apr;32(3):178-183.
B
Vitamins
B1
Ramdas WD, Schouten JSAG, et al. The effect of vitamins on glaucoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 16;10(3).

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 02/2020
  • Update Date: 11/16/2020