Imagine losing your eyesight… slowly you begin to struggle with blurred vision, not being able to focus and letters dancing all over the page when you are reading. The frustration and the feeling of being completely powerless against this distressing symptom of the ageing process must be truly frightening.
Sadly, what I’ve just described is the fate that awaits thousands of people every year. In fact, in the UK 40 per cent of people over the age of 60 will experience some sort of vision loss.
Do you see what I see?
The truth is you don’t have to accept declining vision as “just a part of the ageing process.” Nor do you have to live in fear of losing your eyesight from macular degeneration, cataracts or glaucoma, because it is possible (despite what you’ve been told) to stop these common vision problems and diseases right in their tracks.
For instance, glaucoma – a disease that ultimately leads to vision loss as a result of damage to the optic nerve – is particularly difficult to come to terms with. For many years, it was believed that high intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye was the main cause of optic nerve damage in glaucoma. While IOP is definitely a high risk factor for this disease, it is now known that individuals with normal IOP can also develop glaucoma. This form of the disease is called normal-tension glaucoma (NTG).
Now, a recent study by Italian researchers has revealed that the herb Ginkgo biloba can improve visual field damage in some patients with NTG. That’s because this powerful herb helps improve blood circulation, reduces blood clotting and helps maintain blood flow to the optic nerve.
For the study, the researchers recruited 27 patients between the ages of 58 and 80. Each patient had NTG in each eye and reported progressive loss of vision over time. The patients were divided into two groups in a crossover design. One group received 40 mg of a typical Ginkgo biloba extract three times daily for 4 weeks, followed by a washout period (no treatment) of 8 weeks, followed by placebo for an additional 4 weeks.
The other group received the same treatment in the reverse order. Standard measurements to determine the extent of visual field loss were recorded in each phase of the trial.
As expected, the placebo had no impact on visual performance. However, when the patients in either group were treated with the ginkgo extract, each measurement of visual field showed significant improvement.
The researchers also found that the visual benefit was lost once the participants stopped taking ginkgo biloba.
Commenting on the results of the study, Dr. Robert Ritch, Chief of Glaucoma Services at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, said: “The authors are to be commended in embarking along this innovative avenue of research. Ginkgo biloba extract deserves further investigation for its potential in the treatment of glaucoma as well as other ischaemic ocular diseases.”
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Ginkgo Improves Vision in Some Cases of Glaucoma, published online life-enhancement.com