For most of us, our vision and eye health is something we take for granted. If our eyes hurt or our vision becomes blurry, we may seek treatment, but we rarely think about the diseases that could be affecting our ocular health each day. Yet from cataracts to diabetic retinopathy, many of these eye diseases have no early symptoms and progress without pain or vision loss until they reach an advanced stage.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to protect your eyes and ward off ocular diseases. A recent medical review, published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, took a closer look at some common ocular conditions and how treatment with hydrogen gas and hydrogen-rich saline can help keep eyes healthy.

Cataracts

More than 24 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts. The condition, which is characterized by a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, is the most common cause of blindness around the world. At present, the only treatment for cataracts involves surgery. But new research published in the journal Ophthalmic Research shows that hydrogen gas may help to delay the development of cataracts.

In the study, researchers found that exposure to molecular oxygen accelerated the development of cataracts. But molecular hydrogen neutralizes these reactive oxygen species (ROS) and prevents cataract development.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an ocular disease that affects roughly 45 percent of adults with diabetes, although according to the National Eye Institute, only half are aware they have the condition. In its early stages, the disease has few, if any, symptoms. But as it progresses, diabetic retinopathy can cause floaters, blurred vision, and vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by the leakage of blood and fluid into the retina as a result of blockages caused by the excess sugar in the blood. Studies have confirmed that ROS play a role in the development of this condition. So it’s not surprising that molecular hydrogen, thanks to its ability to neutralize ROS, may also help in the treatment of diabetes and subsequently, diabetic retinopathy.

According to the review, several studies, including this one published in Nutrition Research, have found that treatment with hydrogen-rich saline “improved lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance,” and served as a “valid candidate in further clinical treatment of [diabetic retinopathy.]”

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve, also known as the central control system for your vision. Glaucoma develops when the fluid in the eye becomes blocked and the fluid pressure in ocular tissues increases. The resulting damage can cause vision loss and blindness.

Unfortunately, glaucoma often goes undetected until it has progressed to the point at which irreversible impairment is caused. However, a slew of recent studies (such as this one published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science or this one from Molecular Medicine Reports), have found that treatment with hydrogen-rich saline protected the optic nerve and prevented the development of glaucoma.

The Eyes Have It

Don’t wait until you have issues with your vision to find out if your eyes are healthy. Get regular checkups and take a look at how molecular hydrogen can help protect your whole body, including your eyes, from disease.

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