How To Prevent Glaucoma: The Ultimate Guide 2024

As you get older, there are so many things that you have to start worrying about that you never thought would be a problem.

One of those things is your vision. Perhaps in your recent annual check-up, your doctor has told you that you are at risk for glaucoma.

Or, maybe you have noticed some changes in your vision and are worried that it could be glaucoma. You may be wondering how to prevent glaucoma or, if you already have it, how to treat it.

In this ultimate guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about how to prevent glaucoma. We will also dispel some of the risk factors for this disease so that you can be as informed as possible.

Facts About Glaucoma

  • Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that affects the optic nerve and peripheral vision. It slowly but surely leads to gradual vision loss even if you don’t have symptoms, and if left untreated, it can lead to complete blindness. 
  • It is the second leading cause of blindness in adults worldwide, affecting about 70 million people, and is expected to increase as the world’s population ages.
  • There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. In open-angle glaucoma, the fluid inside the eye normally drains through the drainage channel; however, pressure builds up in front of it on the retina and optic nerve. It is the most common form of glaucoma, affecting about 60% of all patients with the disease.

With angle-closure glaucoma, there is an obstruction at or around the edges of the iris that prevents proper drainage from occurring. This occurs when your angle between the iris and cornea is too narrow and blocks fluid from draining out of your eye. When this happens, pressure builds up in your eye. The pressure pushes on the part of the iris that sits behind the pupil (where light enters), forcing it forward and closing any drainage for fluid to drain. Angle-closure glaucoma develops quickly and can cause sudden optic nerve damage if not treated immediately.

  • There is no cure for glaucoma, but there are treatments that can slow down its progression and prevent loss of vision.

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

There are several risk factors for glaucoma. These include:

  • Age: Glaucoma is most common in people over 60, but it can occur at any age.
  • Race and ethnicity: Glaucoma is more prevalent among African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos than it is among Caucasians. This disparity may be due to genetics or environmental factors that increase the likelihood of glaucoma developing in these groups.
  • Family history: If a close family member has had glaucoma, you might have an increased risk of developing this condition yourself.
  • Eye injury or eye surgery (such as laser eye surgery): These procedures can sometimes lead to glaucoma if they damage one of the parts of your eye responsible for producing fluid inside it (for example, an incision made during cataract-removal surgery could contribute to elevated intraocular pressure).
  • Certain medications: such as aspirin, ibuprofen, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, may increase the risk of glaucoma.
  • High eye pressure: Elevated eye pressure is considered a typical cause of glaucoma, although its exact cause remains unknown.
  • Too much nearsightedness: If you are severely nearsighted, your eyeball may be elongated, leading to increased intraocular pressure and glaucoma.
  • Diabetes: This chronic disease can cause damage to the blood vessels in your retina (the back part of your eye), which may increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Thin corneas: A thinner-than-average cornea may be more susceptible to glaucoma.
  • Systemic disorders like heart disease, sickle cell anemia, and corticosteroid use can sometimes lead to open-angle glaucoma.

Talk to your doctor if you’re worried that you might be at risk for glaucoma.

How Can We Prevent Glaucoma

While there is no sure way to prevent glaucoma, you can do a few things to lower your risk.

Schedule Regular Eye Examinations

For starters, get regular comprehensive eye exams. These are important for detecting early signs of the disease. If caught early, glaucoma can be managed, and the progression of the disease can be slowed or halted.

During the visit, your eye doctor will check your eye pressure. If it’s high, you may be at greater risk for glaucoma.

Your doctor will look at your optic nerve. If the nerve is damaged, it could be a sign of glaucoma. They may also suggest a visual field test. This can help detect early signs of vision loss.

You should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years.

In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people below 40 get their eyes checked every five to ten years. If you’re between 40 and 54, get them checked every two to four years.

For those between 55 and 64, the recommendation is to get an exam every one to three years. And if you’re 65 or older, you should be getting your eyes checked at least once every one to two years.

Your doctor may suggest more frequent visits if you’re at a higher risk for glaucoma.

Reduce Eye Pressure

If you have high eye pressure, there are some things you can do to help lower it. 

First, your doctor may prescribe eye drops. These eye drops can help by decreasing the amount of fluid in your eye. 

You may also be asked to use a special contact lens called a gas-permeable lens. This type of lens helps to decrease eye pressure by allowing oxygen to flow more freely to your eye. 

Also, your doctor may recommend surgery to help reduce eye pressure. This type of surgery is called a trabeculectomy, and can help to improve the drainage of fluid from your eye.

Alternatively, regular exercising can also help to reduce eye pressure. The Glaucoma Foundation suggests that a simple and effective way to do this is by jogging or walking for a few minutes each day. These exercises can help improve the drainage of fluid from your eye and also help to reduce eye pressure.

Prevent Eye Injuries

Most people don’t think about eye safety until they experience an injury. However, simple precautions can help avoid many common injuries that could cause eye trauma or glaucoma.

Wearing protective eyewear is one of the easiest ways to prevent eye injuries. This is especially important if you participate in activities with a risk of flying objects or debris, such as playing sports, using power tools, or working in a laboratory.

Make sure your eyewear fits properly and provides adequate protection. For example, if you wear contact lenses, be sure to use safety glasses or goggles when participating in activities with a risk of eye injury.

If you experience an eye injury, seek medical attention immediately. Even if the injury seems minor, it’s important to have it evaluated by a doctor to rule out any potential for long-term damage.

Types of Food that Can Prevent Glaucoma

The best way to prevent glaucoma is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including eating a diet rich in certain nutrients that have proven to be beneficial for eye health.

Here are some of the best foods to eat to prevent glaucoma:

Foods Containing High Vitamin C

Foods rich in Vitamin C have antioxidant properties that can help protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and lead to inflammation.

Vitamin C can also help reduce oxidative stress linked with optic nerve damage and other eye tissues in glaucoma.

While it is found in a variety of foods, vitamin C is most concentrated in citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit.

One study that included 584 Black women found that participants who consumed at least three or more fruit or fruit juice servings daily reduced their risk of glaucoma by 79 percent.

Other good sources of vitamin C include leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale. These foods are packed with nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of glaucoma.

Foods Containing High Vitamin E 

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. These substances can cause cell damage and lead to the breakdown of protective retinal tissues.

It can also help prevent cataracts and age-related vision loss.

Good dietary sources include nuts and seeds like almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.

Foods Containing High Vitamin A

Eating vitamin A is important for good vision and overall health. It helps keep the surface of your eyes healthy, is essential for night vision, and helps protect your retina from damage.

Eating foods rich in vitamin A also helps protect the optic nerve from damage and also helps reduce inflammation.

Plant-based sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens. Animal-based sources include liver, fish, and dairy products.

Foods Containing Zinc

The mineral Zinc keeps your eyes healthy by producing melanin — a protective pigment in the eye that shields your retina from harmful ultraviolet rays.

A diet rich in zinc can also help prevent age-related macular degeneration and night blindness, as well as glaucoma.

So load up on zinc-rich foods like oysters, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate to keep your eyes healthy and shielded from glaucoma.

Zinc can also be found in foods such as beef, eggs, legumes, whole grains, and dairy products (such as yogurt).

Food Containing High Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that can help prevent vision loss.

When you eat foods high in Omega-3s, it helps your body produce natural anti-inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins.

These compounds help control swelling and protect the delicate membranes in your eyes. A high concentration of these chemicals is also linked to a lower glaucoma risk.

So make sure to include plenty of cold-water fish, including salmon, tuna, and trout, in your diet if you want to keep your eyes healthy!

What Foods to Avoid 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer on specific foods to avoid when it comes to preventing glaucoma, some general dietary guidelines can help.

First, it’s important to focus on eating a healthy diet that helps to keep normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This means avoiding foods that might induce conditions such as blood pressure abnormalities and diabetes, which can increase the pressure in your eyes.

Studies have also linked obesity and elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), so if you’re looking to prevent glaucoma, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight by avoiding foods that can contribute to excess weight gain. This doesn’t necessarily mean going on a strict diet, but rather being conscious of portion sizes and ensuring you’re getting enough exercise.

High carb diets have also been linked to a higher chance of glaucoma. So it’s important to limit your intake of refined carbs like white bread, pastries, and sugary drinks. Instead, focus on complex carbs like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Finally, while more research is needed in this area, some studies have suggested that a healthy caloric restriction can help the eye’s “anti-aging mechanisms” limit ocular dysfunction. So if you’re looking to protect your vision, eating a healthy diet is a good place to start.


There are things that play a role in preventing glaucoma, and it’s important to be vigilant about all of them. For example, regular eye exams are a good idea and can help catch problems early. Eating a healthy diet is good for your eyes too! And don’t forget about protecting your eyes from injuries! This will help keep those peepers in tip-top shape. It’s also important to not smoke or drink alcohol heavily because these habits may increase your risk of developing glaucoma and other eye diseases such as macular degeneration or cataracts. And, of course, following healthy dietary guidelines can help you stay healthy and protect your vision.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you prevent getting glaucoma?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent glaucoma, but there are some measures you can take to lower your risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. You should also have regular comprehensive eye exams, as early detection and treatment of glaucoma can help slow or stop its progression.

What helps glaucoma go away?

There’s no cure for glaucoma, but treatments can help prevent or slow vision loss. These include medications, surgery, or a combination of both. Sometimes lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, can also help.

What is the best vitamin to take for glaucoma?

There isn’t one specific vitamin that’s best for glaucoma. However, vitamins A, C, and E are all important for eye health. You can get these vitamins by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also take supplements if you need to.

What foods prevent glaucoma?

There is no specific food that prevents glaucoma. However, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing the condition. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should also avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.

What is glaucoma in the eyes?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending signals from your eyes to your brain. If it’s damaged, it can lead to vision loss or blindness.

What causes glaucoma?

Glaucoma is usually caused by high pressure in the eye. This can be due to a fluid buildup or a problem with the eye’s drainage system. An injury can also cause it to the eye.

What does glaucoma vision look like?

Glaucoma can cause a variety of vision problems. These include blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, and blind spots in your field of vision. In some cases, it can also cause complete blindness. If you have any of these symptoms, you must see an eye doctor immediately.

Eric Gutenberg
Author: Eric Gutenberg