Does this Sound Like Your Glaucoma?
A 73-year woman consulted with me about her Glaucoma. She was diagnosed 1½ years ago, and the optic nerve is showing signs of damaged cells. She shared her health history with me, stating that her eye pressure was 21 mm Hg, which is on the high end of the normal eye pressure range (normal is 10-21 mm Hg). Now her eye pressure is 20 mm Hg, using the eye drop medication daily for the past 1½ years to bring down her eye pressure. She said that her eye doctor wants her eye pressure to go down to 18 mm Hg. She went on to tell me that she also has high blood pressure, 160/84 while on blood pressure medication for the last 3 years. She shared with me that she has been under a lot of stress in her family during the last 4 years. Her husband, who had been sick for a couple of years, passed away a year ago. Her 43-year-old daughter is a single mom with 2 little children ages 3 and 5. The 3 of them live with her. My client stated that she has been helping her daughter with babysitting while she is working. Her daughter left her marriage 2 years ago and has full custody of the children. The ex-husband has shown up a couple of times at her daughter’s job, drunk and causing a commotion about him having to pay child support. My client worries about her daughter keeping her job.
My client said that with the stress of everyone living under 1 roof, and still grieving the loss of her husband, she has been having problems going to and staying asleep. She said that when she wakes up during the night, she has to either read or watch tv until she is sleepy again, otherwise she is constantly thinking. I selected the Homeopathic Remedy Natrum Muriaticum 6c in a Remedy Solution Bottle, to be taken once a day with 10 succussions at bedtime. I explained that one of the reasons why she has high blood pressure and her eye pressure is on the high end of the normal range is from all the stress she has been under (grieving about her husband, watching the grandchildren and worrying about her daughter’s situation). I also had my client take the Homeopathic Remedy Jaborandi 6c in a Remedy Solution Bottle with 10 succussions at bedtime for the Glaucoma symptoms. My client told me that her next eye appointment will be next month. I told my client; we may need more than 30 days to see improvement with the eye pressure. However, I would expect her sleep, the thinking (dwelling) about her daughter’s situation and her blood pressure to start improving within 7 days. I told her, she should continue using the eye drops the doctor prescribed.
My client called back a week later, stating that her sleep is much better. She is now able to fall asleep at night and she is, for the most part, able to fall back to sleep when she wakes up during the night a little more easily. She does still think about her daughter’s situation, but most days not as often throughout the day. I had my client continue taking both Natrum Muriaticum and Jaborandi with 10 succussions at bedtime. My client reported back a month later, stating her eye pressure is the same in both eyes as it was at the last appointment; 20 mm Hg. Her next eye appointment is in 2 months. I told her we will continue with the Homeopathic Remedies as she has been taking them.
Two months later, my client called back stating that her eye pressure is 19 mm Hg in the right eye and still 20 mm Hg in the left eye. Her next eye appointment is in 2 months. She also said she is feeling much better emotionally about her daughter’s situation and noticed she not mourning the loss of her husband as much. She said, “There are days when I am not crying or missing him the same way I was 2-3 months ago.” Her blood pressure is now 150-160/70-74. I told her, she should continue taking the Homeopathic Remedies as she has been.
My client called back another 2 months later, after her eye exam. Her eye pressure is now 18 mm Hg in both eyes and the doctor is very pleased. She also said she still feels better emotionally, though there have been a few times she has felt sad that her husband is not around to see the grandchildren growing up. Her eye pressure decreasing is great news, she will continue taking the Natrum Muriaticum and Jaborandi every night with 10 succussions at bedtime. I also told her on the days when she is feeling sad about her husband not being here to see the grandchildren, she should take a dose of the Homeopathic Remedy Pulsatilla 200c to help shift the sadness.
Two more months later, she reports back that her eye pressure went up in both eyes to 19 mm Hg. I told her that we have to increase the succussions on the Jaborandi from 10 to 12 when she takes it at bedtime. She said she is doing well emotionally. She said the Pulsatilla really helps when she feels sad about her husband not being here. I told her to continue taking Natrum Muriaticum with 10 succussions at bedtime.
My client called back 2 months later, stating that the eye pressure has decreased to 17 mm Hg in both eyes. The doctor is again very pleased. I had her continue taking Jaborandi with 12 succussions, Natrum Muriaticum with 10 succussions and Pulsatilla when she is feeling the sadness. My client and I continued making adjustments as needed, every 2 months with the Jaborandi whenever the eye pressure would increase, and with the Natrum Muriaticum when she started having sleep problems or thinking a lot about what is going on in her family. After working with my client for over a year, we were able to get her eye pressure down in both eyes to 13-14 mm Hg, and her blood pressure was holding around 120/74. She was able to get off the eye drops, though the doctor was reluctant to have her stop the drops; Glaucoma is a damaged optic nerve and can at any time can become worse. My client and her doctor agreed that she will continue having her eyes’ pressure checked every 2 months and they will take it from there. My client was able to stop the Natrum Muriaticum 6c, since she is able to go to sleep without any problems and is waking up in the mornings refreshed. At some point, I put her on Calcarea Carbonica 6c, with 10 succussions to be taken at bedtime for the overwhelming stress of running the household, (which her husband had attended to before his passing) and with helping out with the grandchildren while her daughter works.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma usually starts from increased eye pressure, which is called Increased Ocular Pressure or IOP, in your eye from a buildup of fluid in the eye that leads to optic nerve damage. Your eyes produce a fluid called Aqueous Humor which flows through your pupil to the front of your eye. When your eyes are healthy, the fluid drains through the canals located between your iris (colored part of your eye) and cornea (clear outer layer at the front of the eye). When the fluid has nowhere to go, it builds up in your eye and puts pressure on your eye. In time, the elevated eye pressure can damage the optic nerve cells, which gradually leads to Glaucoma. When the eye pressure reaches 22 mm Hg or higher, it is a red flag that something is going on in your eye. Normal eye pressure ranges from 10 to 21 mm Hg. You can develop Glaucoma in both eyes, although the health condition may be worse in one eye initially and in time go to other eye.
What to Expect When Your Diagnosed with Glaucoma
Just because you have high eye pressure does not necessarily mean you will develop Glaucoma. You can have Glaucoma due to any cause, or have normal eye pressure and still get Glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when many optic nerve cells are damaged.
In most cases, Glaucoma develops gradually over the months or years and you may not even know you have Glaucoma until your field of vision starts to change. You will start to notice blind spots, usually in your outer field of vision (peripheral field). In time, your central vision, in the later stages will be affected with vision loss if Glaucoma is not addressed. When Glaucoma is addressed early enough, it is possible to slow down the progression of the condition and keep it manageable. Homeopathic Remedies can also help decrease eye pressure and optic nerve symptoms and slow the progression of Glaucoma. Depending on the extent of the Glaucoma, Homeopathy can address it before you start having noticeable vision loss.
What are the Various Types of Glaucoma?
There are several forms of glaucoma:
- Normal Tension Glaucoma
- Exfoliative Glaucoma
- Neovascular Glaucoma
- Pigmentary Glaucoma
- Uveitic Glaucoma
- Traumatic Glaucoma
- Congenital Glaucoma
However, the 2 most common forms of Glaucoma are:Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Angle-Closure Glaucoma (ACG).
- Open-Angle Glaucoma
Open-Angle Glaucoma is often called Primary Open Angle (POAG). It occurs when your eye’s drainage canals become clogged and increases the eye pressure, in time damaging your optic nerve. You will not have any symptoms until you start to notice changes in your vision, which can develop gradually into vision loss. Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of Glaucoma, which affects 90% of Americans.
- Angle-Closed Glaucoma (ACG)
Also called Closure-Angle or Narrow-Angle Glaucoma, is a rare type and often comes on suddenly, with more severe symptoms. This form of Glaucoma occurs when the angle between your iris and cornea is too narrow. It can happen when your pupil changes and becomes too big (dilated) too quickly, which blocks your drainage canals and prevents the aqueous fluid from leaving your eye, increasing your eye pressure (Intraocular Pressure or IOP). Your eye pressure with Angle-Closed Glaucoma can be 35 mm Hg or higher. When you have Closed-Angle Glaucoma in one eye, you have a 40% to 80% chance of developing this form of Glaucoma in your other eye within 5 to 10 years.
Symptoms You May Have with Angle-Closed Glaucoma:
- Eye pain or pressure
- Rainbow-colored halos around lights
- Low-vison, blurred vision, narrowed vision (tunnel vision) or blind spots
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red eyes
- Sudden sight loss
Did You Know That Your Pets Can Have Glaucoma, Too?
My Client’s Dog has Glaucoma
My client consulted with me about her dog, which was just diagnosed with Glaucoma. My client told me that her dog is a 6-year-old Basset Hound. She said that she noticed that her dog was rubbing his right eye and when he looked up at her the white of his eye is red. My client also said he just wasn’t acting like his playful self the last few days. The Veterinarian asked if he injured his eye recently, since the white of the eye was red and a little swollen. She said not recently, however, 6-8 months ago he and his brother were playing with a stick and it poked him in the eye. She explained to the Vet that they brought him in to the Emergency Veterinarian Care and the Vet did not see any problems with the eye. The Vet put him on an antibiotic just in case the eye got infected, and he has not had any problems until now.
My client told me that the dog’s eye pressure (IOP) is 30 mm Hg, which is high for a dog (or cat). Normal eye pressure range for cats and dogs is 10 to 25 mm Hg. The Vet put the dog on eye drops to lower the eye pressure. I selected the Homeopathic Remedy Jaborandi 30c, to be administered once a day with 10 succussions to help lower the eye pressure. I told my client that if the eye pressure doesn’t decrease with Jaborandi, I will be switching the dog to the Homeopathic Remedy Physostigma 30c, which is selected for high eye pressure due to injury that leads to Glaucoma.
A month later, my client reported back that the dog’s eye pressure is now 29 mm Hg. I told her that we will continue administering Jaborandi once a day with 10 succussions, since the eye pressure decreased. The eye pressure came down the following month to 28 mm Hg. We continued with the Jaborandi. The 3rd month, the eye pressure increased to 29 mm Hg. I increased the succussions of the Jaborandi to 12. There was no change in the eye pressure the following month. We stopped Jaborandi and started the Homeopathic Remedy Physostigma 30c, with 10 succussions once a day. The following month the eye pressure dropped to 27 mm Hg. I said the Jaborandi did not continue decreasing eye pressure because the Glaucoma symptoms came on from the eye injury that he had a year ago. We continued adjusting Physostigma succussions when the eye pressure would increase again.
Dogs are more likely than cats to develop Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) It is especially seen in Burmese and Siamese cats. I have worked with a couple of dogs with high eye pressure and Glaucoma, and have been able to decrease their eye pressure with Homeopathic Remedies.
Homeopathic Remedies for People and Pets with Glaucoma
There are several Homeopathic Remedies for Glaucoma. I have listed below the most common Homeopathic Remedies selected for Glaucoma. A 6c or 30c Homeopathic Remedy will be selected according to your Glaucoma symptoms, to help slow down the progression, or in some cases address the symptoms. The selected Homeopathic Remedy will be taken daily at bedtime.
- Comocladia Dentata – Is selected for Glaucoma when the right eye is very painful, feels large, and protrudes (pressing outward) more than the left eye, and worse from movement of the eyes. Recommended for when you have Cluster Headaches with Glaucoma and the eyes feel too large, especially in the right eye. You see only a glimmer of light with the left eye. Comocladia Dentata is commonly selected for people with Glaucoma.
- Jaborandi – Is when the Glaucoma has increased ocular eye pressure with tension or pain in the eye(s), which is worse from exertion of vision, such as doing fine detailed work (i.e., needle work or electronics). You may have a sensation of heat and burning in the eyes during exertion. This remedy can be used for people and pets.
- Osmium – Is selected for Glaucoma with an increase in intra – ocular pressure and you see a rainbow of colors and lights, especially at night (Iridescent Vision). Violent pain in the Supra-Orbital Notch (located in the eye brow) and eye tearing. There is increased tension in the chamber of the eye. Osmium is selected for both pets and people with Glaucoma.
- Phosphorus – You will have a degenerative retina, which causes blindness and atrophy (wasting of tissue) and pain with Glaucoma. Phosphorus is selected for both people and pets with Glaucoma.
- Physostigma – For when you had an eye injury that increases the eye pressure, which leads to Glaucoma. The eye injury can develop into Glaucoma immediately after the injury or several years later. Can be used for pets and people with Glaucoma.
- Silicea – Selected for Congenital Glaucoma, which occurs in babies who are born with drainage canals that don’t work properly. Silicea will remove what is blocking the eye canal, so it can drain properly.
Stress is a Big Factor as to Why You have Developed Glaucoma
In order to address your high eye pressure, whether it leads to Glaucoma or not, you will need to take a 6c Homeopathic Remedy daily. The 6c Homeopathic Remedy will be selected according to the stress that is going on in your life (i.e., significant other, family, work, financial), causing you to have high eye pressure. When selecting the 6c Homeopathic Remedy, you will be asked what was going on in your life 6-12 months prior to your Glaucoma diagnosis. The idea is to address the stress in your life, so the eye pressure will decrease and not cause any more damage to your optic nerve.
Glaucoma can affect anyone, however the chances of developing it increase with age. It is best to have routine eye exams to monitor your eye pressure and catch any signs of developing Glaucoma before you start to exhibit vison symptoms.
Whether you or your pet is experiencing Glaucoma now or are just starting to have the beginning signs of Glaucoma (i.e., eye pressure increasing), I suggest you work with a Homeopath to select a 6c or 30c Homeopathic Remedy to help slow down the progression and/or address the symptoms.