Relationship of Lifestyle, Exercise, and Nutrition With Glaucoma

Claudio I. Perez; Kuldev Singh; Shan Lin


Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2019;30(2):82-88. 

In This Article


Retrospective and cross-sectional population-based studies may sometimes provide hypotheses regarding risk factors for the development and progression of glaucomatous disease. These types of studies are very useful to detect a possible association, but require further investigation to prove a cause–effect relationship. As there are a few large prospective or randomized controlled trials with adequately long follow-up, it is difficult to draw important clinical correlations. Thus, further large prospective studies with long follow-up should be promoted. Clinicians should encourage patients to engage in healthy lifestyle habits that will improve not only general health but may also have benefits for eye health. As a general rule the extremes of intake or engagement are usually detrimental, as described the U-shaped curve related to some factors such as exercise and weight. A higher intake of foods/beverages with antioxidants can be promoted such as hot tea and green leafy vegetables; and it may be reasonable to suggest avoiding excessively high intake of oxidants such as iron. In appropriate cases such as progressive glaucoma even at low IOPs, we recommend discussing this type of evidence with patients and possibly incorporating their preferences but strong recommendations should not be made in the absence of sufficient evidence. This approach can help to improve the patient–physician relationship and perhaps positively influence the patient adherence to IOP-lowering medications, both of which will improve glaucoma care.