Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and affects 80 million people around the globe. Currently, the only available glaucoma treatments are eye drops, oral medication or surgery. There is no cure for the disease, and glaucoma-related vision loss is irreversible.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases characterized by optic nerve stress, often associated with elevated eye pressure. No one knows what causes optic nerve degeneration, and glaucoma can be a tricky disease to diagnose. It usually does not cause pain or other symptoms. An eye doctor’s goal in treating glaucoma is to detect the disease early and treat it promptly to prevent permanent eye damage.
Emerging Glaucoma Treatments
Glaucoma researchers continually seek new treatments that will prevent the death of retinal cells and regenerate diseased fibers in the optic nerve. They have found that a molecule called NAD declines in the retina as people age, and this puts retinal cells at risk for degeneration.
Studies have shown nicotinamide, a water-soluble form of vitamin B-3, prevented NAD depletion and reduced the risk of glaucoma in animals. Nicotinamide is found in foods like poultry, fish, eggs and cereal grains.
A study in Sweden is exploring a potential neuroprotective therapy for glaucoma. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and St. Erik Eye Hospital are testing nicotinamide, also known as niacinamide, on animal and cell models for glaucoma.
Should I Supplement With B3?
If you have glaucoma, you may think you should begin taking vitamin B3. However, you should not start any new supplements or vitamins without talking to your provider.
If you have questions about new glaucoma treatments or natural treatments, call to make an appointment with your eye doctor. All medications can have side effects and can interact with other drugs.
Find an Ophthalmologist Near You
Are you under the care of a board-certified ophthalmologist? You deserve the best vision care possible. A comprehensive eye exam is an essential part of preventive care and can detect many common eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Click here to get a list of qualified professionals near you and call to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam today.