My father was an optometrist, and I grew up hearing him say, "Take care of your eyes. They?re the only ones you?ll ever get." I used to think that reading with a good light and avoiding strain were all I needed to do to protect my vision. Now I know there?s more.
I learned that antioxidants can protect us from failing eyesight and high blood pressure can lead to glaucoma. But there?s more. Glaucoma may be caused by an overgrowth of a common bacterium.
You?ve probably heard of the bacterium before. It?s called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This bacterium contributes to peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. And now there?s a connection between H. pylori and glaucoma.
In one study, researchers found that 88% of people with glaucoma have H. pylori. In the 83% of people the researchers treated successfully, their intraocular pressure and field of vision improved over a period of two years.
Although we don?t completely understand the exact connection between this bacteria and glaucoma, these results are impressive. Whether you have glaucoma or not, ask your doctor to check for H. pylori. You can get a common blood test in your doctor?s office. And if you have H. pylori, the treatment can be as simple as using an antibiotic.
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If you prefer a natural solution, try bismuth. It works well to eradicate H. pylori. You can find this nutrient in many health food stores. Bismuth is also the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol. But the straight nutrient works better for H. pylori.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Arch Intern Med, 2002; 162.