Last Modified on Jun 19, 2014
Natural Alternatives to Glaucoma Surgery
Glaucoma is a number of eye disorders that gang up on the optic nerve and cause gradual damage over time, resulting in a slow loss of vision. In primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common glaucoma, the only noticeable symptom is gradual vision loss. Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure on the optic nerve from a buildup of the fluid that flows in and out of the eye, but drains too slowly. Other causes of glaucoma are from iris pigment granule buildup, or even the iris itself can bulge and cause drainage fluid retention.
Symptoms of glaucoma usually occur in both eyes, most notably gradual loss of peripheral vision, sometimes with sudden onset; but other symptoms that can be attributed to glaucoma are eye pain, halos around lights, nausea that accompanies severe eye pain. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce the pressure in the eye to halt the progression of nerve damage.
Find a Cure Without Glaucoma Surgery
On this page are a number of user submitted home remedies for glaucoma. Many medical professionals will recommend a form of glaucoma surgery, but that is invasive and could take a number of procedures. Some of our suggested remedies for glaucoma include glycerin, fennel seeds, frankincense, omega 3, and a number of dietary and exercise strategies. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to treat glaucoma. Have a remedy not yet listed here? Please don't hesitate to share your story with us!
[YEA] 05/21/2011: Kate from Friday Harbor, Wa: "The prostaglandin class of eye meds don't work for me--nerve damage continued and the pressure did not go down by much. I refused surgery and any other class of medications.
After several years of trying every alternative treatment I could find, I finally have had success in lowering the intra-occular pressure with diet, exercise and frankincense. I used supplements for years without noticeable difference in pressure, but once I started following Dr. Benjamin Lane's diet and exercise recommendations and using Frankincense, improvement was substantial. I cannot tell you for sure which of the three helped the most but I had used the exercise and diet for three months before receiving good news, and the frankincense for just a few weeks. You can find info on Dr. Lane's diet with a google search (or start with http://www.mothernature.com/l/Preventions-Healing-with-Vitamins/Glaucoma_971.html) and instructions for using food grade (therapeutic) frankincense at http://younglivingforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=841.
Re the diet: I did not add any supplements to the ones I have been taking for years which include D, Co-q10, C, O-3, E and a special eye formula that includes G. Biloba et.al. I walk for 45 minutes EVERY DAY. I eat organic meats and mostly raw vegetables and fruits. I eat NO processed foods--flour, sugar, pasta, etc. I drink no caffeine and no alcohol.
Doesn't sound like much fun to you? Yeah, but I want to keep my sight and for me, that's a big enough motivation."Replies
07/08/2013: Josey from Oklahoma City, Ok replies: "i have changed my diet to my like your own and have for some time. I even cut out sugar, wheat, and salt. I exercise. I began using frankincense 10 days ago and had my eye pressure checked. No changes. I will have lasor and if that doesn't work I will have the other surgery where they put drainage tubes in your eyes. But I am sticking to my healthy diet. Maybe one had to use the frankincense much longer, not sure."
07/08/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Drinking coconut water has been effective in reducing fluid pressure in the eye, it can also be a laxative... Proceed with wisdom and research."
[YEA] 03/06/2013: Crystal from Calabar, Nigeria: "I had temporary blackout on right eye in December 2012 and the Dr said I should do a visual field test. Diagnosis of VFT: had some dark spots but was considered a glaucoma suspect with an iop of 15/16. Started fennel seeds and one week latter it dropped to 10. Repeated IOP test on saturday 3rd of March after one month and it was 12. Please note that I was diagnosed with RA, and had a stroke last year and have numbness all over, swollen tonsils, white tongue and just 43 yrs old. Cannot take NSAIDS because of reaction."Replies
03/24/2014: Blesyn from Lagos, Nigeria replies: "Hi, I just need to know, how much of fennel seeds should I take to help fight the glaucoma? I usually put it in a cup of hot water, drink the water after a while and chew the seeds. Are there specific ways/times to take these for maximum effect?
05/18/2013: Curtis3000 from Bellmawr, New Jersey: "I was surprised to see so little for Glaucoma remedies on Earth Clinic. Studies show that Forskolin, used in Arurvedic medicine for millenia, helps with slowing down Glaucoma, lowers blood pressure, good for weight loss, psyoriasis, and other benefits.
I am purchasing it now and will report its efficacy on my conditions."
09/08/2013: Melinda from London: "Dear Sir/Madam,
My Auntie suffers from glaucoma. She has lost vision in one eye. Could you please prescribe any herbal medication to ease the pressure on her eyes or cure this disease. Thanks for your cooperation. Desperate Melinda"
08/05/2013: Shining Star from Gainesville, Fl: "The Mayo site has glycerin listed as something that lowers the pressure in the eye. I would assume that many people facing eye problems would be interested. Any one (Ted) know anything?"
[YEA] 06/15/2011: Big Ec Fan from Eau Claire, Wi: "From what I just read, in a reliable "cures" book that I have had for many years, glycerin can be consumed with juice or distilled water to reduce eye pressure. I have been consuming it for about a week now, as I need to get my eye pressure down.
Ignore the warning on the bottle: do not ingest. TPTB don't want people to make use of glycerin's natural healing properties. Old optometry med. manuals listed drinking glycerin as a way to reduce (w/o side effects) a person's eye pressure."Replies
02/15/2012: Tim from Port Hope, Canada, Ontario replies: "Hello, Did the glycerin work? How much did you take? Did you use food grade or soap grade? Please email me at 333kehoe(at)gmail. Com
05/23/2012: Carl from Bluffton, Sc replies: "glycerin to release Eye Pressure. How do you purchase it and what is the dosage?"
01/13/2013: John from Wilmington, De replies: "To find glycerin to take internally, search pure vegetable gylcerin online. There are a number of companies that sell it so I am sure you can also find it in a good health food store."
01/25/2014: Dave from Minnesota replies: "What would be the dosage of the Glycerine in juice and how often and for how long should a person consume the juice/glycerine drink to reduce eye pressure?"
07/24/2013: Nicolette from Nj/united States: "My sister was shot in the eye, and is now experiencing high intraocular pressure. Are there any remedies or herbs that are known to lower the pressure of her eye?"Replies
07/24/2013: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "Marijuana drops the internal pressure in the eyball, but whether you are in a place where its legal to get some is another matter."
07/24/2013: Om from Hope, Bc, Canada replies: "High Interoccular pressure in Eye. For Nicolette, NY US
I was treated for this with meds that discoloured the eye so bad, I did not like to go out as for the casual comments made.
Just by accident I found out that this medicine (allopathic) was damaging kidney and liver. I would stay clear of it. Really, I would use my own urine, soaked in a cloth and bathe the eye in it for as often as possible. Your own midstream urine has a blueprint for your unique needs. Try it and you will find it immensely soothing and effective. Good luck. Om"
07/25/2013: Mama To Many from Middle, Tennessee, Usa replies: "Oh, dear. So sorry about this. I would try charcoal poultices on the eye. You will need ground flax seed and activated charcoal powder. Mix equal parts in a cup. Add water and stir until you get a mixture the consistancy of molasses. (Careful as charcoal powder is "poofy" and can get all over if you are not careful. ) Spread a spoonful of the mixture onto a paper towel and fold over sides of towel. Charcoal is now contained within the towel. Apply the poultice to the eye. (1 layer of paper towel between closed eye and charcoal.) You can make up lots of poultices and keep them in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag until needed. They keep for a week or more. Keep poultice on eye as much as possible. Charcoal must be wet to be active, so change poultice when it dries out. You could add a layer of plastic wrap on top of the poultice and use a bandana to keep it all on during the day or to keep it moise over night.
You can buy an herb called "eyebright" which is good for any eye problems. You can buy the tincture of eyebright and an eyecup to wash out the eye following directions on the tincture bottle. Dr. Christopher's brand is one that people like.
Keep us posted on progress!
~Mama to Many~"
[YEA] 02/09/2013: Tom from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Usa: "I have been having great success with both Mastic Gum, taken internally upon waking, and Frankincense essential oil, allowed to evaporate into the eyes, for eye pressure.
I had been taking Mastic Gum for a month, which was helping my eye pressure issues to a good degree, after reading two studies. The first study linked H. Pylori bacteria with glaucoma. The second study noted a dramatic reduction in H. Pylori when mastic gum was taken as a supplement. It holds true that mastic gum is indeed very helpful for eye pressure in my experience.
I then read on earthclinic, and subsequently on a couple of other places on the web, about success using Frankincense oil. So, I purchased the best quality Frankincense essential oil that I could find. Specifically, oil from the Boswellia Sacra species. I believe that it is steam distilled, which works fine. Every day thereafter, I followed the recommended procedure of dropping 2-3 drops of oil in my hand, rubbing my palms together to distribute the oil, and then cupping my hands over my open eyes with as air-tight a seal as possible and allowing the evaporating oil to mingle with my exposed open eyes. One of the tricks of this procedure is to not cup your hands over your eyes right away, but to allow at least one minute to pass in-between the time that you drop the oil on your hands and the time that you expose your eyes to it. Frankincense oil has volatile oxidative oils (recognizable by the citrusy top-note of the oil) that will irritate your eyes, but which largely evaporate within a minute or so of being exposed to air. Waiting at least 60 seconds to cup your eyes assures that most of these oils evaporate and that your eyes won't be so irritated. Generally, I also count to 60 when cupping my oiled hands over my eyes, which seems to be enough. If any significant irritation starts, which may or may not happen at about the minute mark, I stop. Usually, irritation just means that you didn't wait quite long enough for the volatile oils to evaporate. It's not really a problem, as the irritation is both gradual and mild if it happens at all.
The frankincense is very powerful, assuming a good grade of oil, and its effects will last all day. I generally perform the frankincense procedure either in the moring or the afternoon, but have also found it helpful when any type of inflammation or eye pressure is felt. The combination of mastic gum and frankincense is even more powerful. The only problem is the cost of good frankincense oil and mastic gum. Neither are cheap. A one month supply of both is currently running me about $65. You will probably need around 10 ml of oil per month."Replies
03/17/2013: Suzanne from North Plainfield, Nj replies: "Hi, Can you tell me where exactly you purchased your Frankincense? I was using one brand then recently purchased from another and it smells NOTHING like the Frankincense I had used before. I was even taking the previous internally and it was curing a sinus infection. However this new brand is no where near as effective, though it said it was the sacra species, organic certified, steam distilled, therapeutic grade."
06/22/2013: Betty from Ft. Walton Bch, Florida: "Hi this is new to me. I have elevated eye pressure. Can you help me to lower, with a natural treatment. Ocular Hypertension, I can still see pretty good if I stay off computer and stop reading my Kindle, then I can see clear. Any suggestions?"Replies
06/22/2013: Mama To Many from Middle, Tennessee, Usa replies: "Hi Betty, I have not heard of your condition, but wonder if charcoal might help. It may sound crazy, but you can read about how chacoal helped another lady who had "Occular Inflammatory Disorder" and was healed using charcoal.
Charcoal is known to help with inflammation, infection, tumors, etc. It would be very safe to try, even if you found other remedies to try at the same time. Charcoal is the first thing I thought of when I read your post. To make a charcoal poultice, mix 1 part activated charcoal powder, 1 part ground flax seed and water to make a jelly like paste. Place on a cloth or paper towel and fold over. The charcoal will be contained in the paper towel on both sides. Lay against they eye (closed) and place plastic wrap over the paper towel. (Charcoal remains active when wet.) Then use a bandana to keep all of this in place. Ideally you would do this over night.
Because Apple Cider Vinegar is known to help high blood pressure (aka hypertension) this is another thing you could try that would be very safe and might help. 1 T. Raw apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. of water twice a day.
Keep you water intake up as well as your fruit and veggie intake.
Let us know what you try and how you are doing.
~Mama to Many~"
06/23/2013: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Betty: I do magnet therapy on my eyes to keep them healthy. Start with a common refrigerator magnet, the side that sticks to metal, over each eye for about 20 min. Daily. This will reduce inflammation and most likely the pressure also."
06/23/2013: Art from Vancouver Bc., Canada replies: "Dear Betty from Ft. Walton Bch, Florida: Try increasing your intake of Vitamin B12 sublingual Methylcobalim. I had pressure on my left eye and as long as I stay at 5,000 + mcg of B12 per day I have no more problems. I am not cured but I will accept the solution to the problem.
[YEA] 07/26/2010: Helen from Beirut, Lebanon: "Glacoma
Hi, I am 47 years old and I have glacoma since 15 years, 10 years ago I read about a spanish doctor cured the glacoma with
1) omega three
2) vitamin C
3) gingko biloba
My visual field test showed excellant improvment, now the doctors tell me that I dont have glacoma, I am a glacoma suspect now, the pressure in the eye is less, and I am not using my eye drops regularly, still getting better, also using sea salt (coocking&eating) instead of regular salt. My daily dosees are:1000 mg vitamin C , 1 tablet gingko biloba, one soft gel fish oil for the omega three. So I wish this can help. I will try to find the link for the spanish doctor and post it here. God bless you all."Replies
09/08/2013: Melinda from London replies: "Dear Helen,
Congratulation on your miraculous cure. We thank God for his miraculous favour. Anyway, my aunt suffers from glaucoma. She has lost vision in one eye. Please help me find a herbal cure for the disease, just like you regained sight. I want to know whether you lost sight completely in one eye or both eyes. Was your sight restored after the herbal treatment? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for your co-operation. Kind regards, Melinda"
[YEA] 11/17/2012: Nickie from Ruislip, Middlesex England: "In one of her books Adele Davis recommended 1/2 tsp salt in water to counteract pressure pain of glaucoma. Fluid passes to front of eye and cannot flow back to balance due to lack of aldosterone. I, too have low blood pressure so check your adrenals! Anyway, I was in agony and the salt works, emergency measure only of course. Sea salt preferably. Blackstrap molasses has lots of minerals; maybe that would work also. Perhaps Ted would know. Nickie"
08/19/2007: Gail : "Hello, Ever since I have been diagnosed with glaucoma (4 years ago), I can't seem to get the eye pressure down to a reasonable level. I have done 2 laser surgeries, but they didn't work. I desperately need to find a natural cure to lower my eye pressure. Would alkalizing the body help? Tks."Replies
11/12/2012: Smiley from Orange County, Ca replies: "Hello. I am 32 with a host of health problems and for the past year have had some terrible and scary issues with my vision. In dim light I see a lot of static lines, in dark or bright I feel faint, ocular migraines, eye pain, etc. and my eye pressure is on the highest end of normal before I enter into the beginning stages of glaucoma.
I feel the pressure in my eye and it is horrible. However, my blood pressure is low like 99/70. A high day for me is 110/80 so my blood pressure does not seem to be tied into my eye pressure. I take various supplements and vitamins and eat a very healthy and strict diet. I would love some relief from all of the symptoms and not fully cross over to full blown glaucoma. Any other tips?"
11/13/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Smiley: are you taking the recommended nutrients/antioxidants for eye health like Luteine, Astazanthine, Vit-A??? My many health issues affect my eyes and vision so I use magnet therapy daily for only a few minutes over each eye w/ good results. Magnets reduce inflammation which allows otherwise inhibited healing."
11/13/2012: Ed2010 from Oakville, Canada replies: "Did you meet your opthalmalogist, what was his diagnosis? How is your house environment and work environment? Pollens and fungus can cause similar symptoms too.
Rather than taking supplements, take freshly squeezed fruit juices. Not the canned fruit juice. For immediate vison improvement. Take 200 ml of freshly made Carrot Juice for 10 days. You see lots of improvement in 1 week.
Stop anything suspicious that can be an allergen to your eyes and causing the symptoms."
11/14/2012: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "Smiley sorry to hear about your problem, but your living in California, if you sign up for medical marajuana, and try that I think you will find an immidiate drop off pressure in your eyes. It has an effect on blood pressure as well. If you tell them your problem they will advise whether indicta or sativa would be the better option."