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Ginkgo for Chronic Glaucoma

Ginkgo for Chronic Glaucoma | Mr Vitamins
Chronic Glaucoma is a group of conditions that affect the optic nerve and can result in a gradual loss of vision. Chronic glaucoma is not elevated pressure within the eye; this is a common misconception. Elevated pressure within the eye is known as ocular hypertension. In chronic glaucoma the peripheral vision is usually affected first.

Normal Tension Glaucoma

One type of glaucoma is known as normal tension glaucoma (NTG) which is optic nerve degeneration that occurs with normal eye pressures. NTG accounts for around 30% of all glaucoma. Two of the mechanisms believed to be partly responsible for NTG are:
  • a reduction of blood flow into the optic nerve and
  • excessive glutamate activity in the optic nerve
Glutamate is a stimulating neurotransmitter in the human nervous system. It is believed that excessive prolonged nerve stimulation by glutamate can cause nerve cells to die prematurely

Ginkgo may help

There have been studies that show that Ginkgo biloba can improve visual field defects in people with NTG as well as slowing down the progression of visual field loss. One proposed mechanism of action involves ginkgo improving blood flow into the optic nerve. Gingko has a long history of traditional use as an enhancer of circulation to the brain and the hands and feet. Another proposed mechanism of action involves ginkgo’s ability to reduce glutamate activity in nerve cells.

A word of caution

However Ginkgo has significant anti platelet activity and can “thin the blood”. So caution is needed when using ginkgo in glaucoma if there is any evidence of retinal bleeding. Caution is also needed in the case of those with high blood pressure and those on blood thinning medications. Want to know more? Talk to Naturopath Peter Radi…

Peter Radi – Naturopath and Nutritionist

Peter Radi (1)

Peter Radi is a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist and has been in clinical practice since 2000. He is available for private consultations at the Mr Vitamins Clinic where he can provide you with more information to help you with Glaucoma as well as personalised health improvement programs. Learn more about Peter here