Glaucoma Awareness Month: Do’s and Don’ts You Should Know
- Posted on: Jan 30 2019
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the global population. The thing about this grouping of eye diseases is that blindness can be prevented. When glaucoma is detected early, treatment can be developed to reduce and manage the pressure in the eye that damaged the optic nerve and leads to blindness. The earlier that an accurate diagnosis is made, the better. Once vision begins to decline, there is no way to restore it fully. Here, we discuss some of the do’s and don’ts related to living with glaucoma.
DO schedule eye exams as recommended if you are at risk for glaucoma. How do you know your risk? A primary factor would be if you have a family history of glaucoma. Additional factors that may contribute to the development or worsening of glaucoma include advanced age (over 60), existing health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, long-term use of corticosteroid medication, and extreme nearsightedness. If you’re unsure of your personal risk for glaucoma, schedule a thorough eye exam at Roholt Vision Institute in Canfield, Alliance, or North Canton.
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, what you do and don’t do on a regular basis counts.
DO eat well.
A speaker at Hawaiian Eye and Retina 2017 meeting, Dr. Yvonne Ou, had discussed recent studies in which patients who consumed more whole foods, especially greens, were less likely to develop glaucoma. Dr. Ou stated that she encourages her glaucoma patients to consume a diet rich in leafy greens and healthy dietary nitrates. The antioxidants and other nutrients in leafy greens and other vegetables, as well as certain fresh fruits, may reduce glaucoma risk by up to 30%.
DO move frequently.
At the same conference in which she discussed dietary habits and glaucoma, Dr. Ou mentioned that studies have found a link between a sedentary lifestyle and a higher degree of visual field loss. Conversely, patients who increased their regular level of physical activity subsequently decreased their intraocular pressure. In a study out of UCLA, researchers concluded that people who are physically active are up to 73% less likely to develop glaucoma than folks who are sedentary. The same researchers estimated that glaucoma risk could decrease by 25% with just a 10-minute increase in moderate to vigorous exercise per week.
DON’T use marijuana.
Certain celebrities have been vocal about their use of marijuana to lower intraocular pressure. It’s true that, when one smokes pot or ingests marijuana, the pressure within the eye decreases. However, studies suggest that, in people whose glaucoma creates wide variations in ocular pressure throughout the day, the use of marijuana to lower pressure could have a rebound effect in which pressure then elevates more dramatically, worsening the impact on the optic nerve.
DON’T invert yourself.
As yoga has become a popular way to manage health and wellness, it has become increasingly important for people with glaucoma to understand what they can and cannot do on their yoga mat. One of the things a glaucoma patient must avoid is inversion. In yoga, this could include poses like downward facing dog and headstands. Inversion may also take place off the yoga mat using fitness equipment that literally inverts the body feet-over-head. While inversion can be good for the back and joints, it is not good for intraocular pressure.
We’re here to help you learn more about glaucoma. Call today to schedule your visit to an office near you.
Posted in: Glaucoma