Glaucoma is a serious disease of the optic nerve. Optic nerves are actually an extension of the brain inside the eyes.

Normal optic nerves, not diseased with glaucoma, can with stand ups and downs of internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure IOP). But those with this disease, their nerves can’t handle the normal ups and downs of pressure. Fibers die. Vision is lost.

All ophthalmologists can do is try to lower pressure through drops and surgery. Too often this does not stop the nerve damage and sight lost. But the questions have always been:

  • why are these nerves so sensitive to pressure?
  • What causes this disease?
  • Is it through oxidative stress

Taking oral antioxidants does not mean they get to or are effective in the eyes. Many with glaucoma down supplements but do not see improvement in their visual fields (test for optic nerve functionality and sight.)

New test on the Horizon

Now there may soon be a test to figure out how much oxidative stress is actually going on in your eyes. Wow.This would be especially great for glaucoma “suspects” and/or those with glaucoma. Not sure when it will go from rat research to humans. But it’s a biomarker of the free radical damage of the eye.

If you have glaucoma

If you have glaucoma, nicely nag your doc each time you see them to know when and if this test is coming out. “Hydrocyanine-800CW” (this biomarker) detects retinal ROS in vivo and shows potential as a novel biomarker for ROS levels in ophthalmic diseases.
What helps? Less caffeine. Sleeping at 45-degree angle and not flat on your back or side. Avoiding Valsalva maneuvers, horn instrument playing, prolonged inversion positions, avoiding chondroitin sulfate and excess minerals like selenium, but still, it’s a nasty disease.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Sep 1;56(10):5862-70. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16810.
In Vivo Imaging of Retinal Oxidative Stress Using a Reactive Oxygen Species-Activated Fluorescent Probe.