Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by an increase in intraocular pressure, which results in permanent damage to the optic nerve. It’s common in older people (although younger people can also be affected) and can cause vision loss and blindness if left untreated.
Take precautions to prevent glaucoma with these top tips from Professional Family Eyecare, a leading eye care center in Greenville, St Marys & Coldwater.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve, which connects the eyes to the brain.
Open-angle glaucoma is a milder and more common type of glaucoma. Other variations of the disease include acute angle closure glaucoma, congenital glaucoma and secondary glaucoma.
Glaucoma can creep up on you because it generally doesn’t show any symptoms in its initial stages. By the time you notice symptoms, some vision loss has occurred.
What puts an individual at risk for glaucoma is:
- Ethnicity - African Americans and Latinos are at greater risk
- Genetics - Having family members who’ve had glaucoma
- Medical conditions like sickle cell anemia, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure
- Increased pressure within the eye
By making certain lifestyle choices, you can reduce the risk of glaucoma-related vision loss and blindness from happening. Here are our top tips:
1. Stay Shady
If you’re spending time outdoors, make sure you take your 100% UV-blocking sunglasses along.
Research shows that the sun’s harmful UV rays can potentially increase the risk of glaucoma.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat for even more protection, and make an effort to sit in the shade and not direct sunlight.
2. Eye Safety First
Eye injuries can potentially lead to glaucoma or make it worse.
Wearing protective eyewear when you’re crafting, gardening or playing sports is key for preventing a serious eye injury.
3. Exercise Regularly, but Carefully
Many glaucoma patients worry about how they can exercise without causing further harm to their vision.
Only your eye doctor can give you instructions that are tailored to your glaucoma diagnosis, but eye care experts generally agree that moderate exercise is beneficial for eye health. Intense exercise isn’t recommended because it can potentially increase eye pressure, as can challenging yoga poses that require you to put your head down.
4. Eat to Nourish Your Eyes
Eating eye-healthy foods on a regular basis can be more effective than getting those nutrients from a supplement. Include green leafy vegetables, berries and different colored fruits in your daily menu plan for optimal eye health.
5. Keep Those Pearly Whites Healthy
Did you know that having good oral hygiene can reduce the negative effects of glaucoma in those who have it or those who are at risk?
This is because gum disease is tied to optic nerve damage in people with glaucoma, which is why you should brush and floss diligently! Be sure to also pop into your dentist’s office if you haven’t been there in over 6 months.
6. Catch Some Good-Quality Zzz’s
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have an increased chance of getting glaucoma, which is another good reason to treat it.
Sleeping with the affected eye against a pillow is also a big no for people with glaucoma. Your eye doctor can advise you on the most comfortable and safe sleeping position.
7. Catch Glaucoma in Its Tracks
Getting frequent eye exams is key for maintaining healthy vision. It’ll help you spot serious eye diseases like glaucoma as early as possible, allowing you to get the treatment you need to prevent vision loss.
8. Don’t Smoke
Smoking can raise the risk of getting glaucoma and several other sight-threatening eye diseases.
Glaucoma Management and Other Eye Care Services in Greenville, St Marys & Coldwater
If you have glaucoma or are at high risk of developing glaucoma, top-notch eye care should be high up on your priority list.
At Professional Family Eyecare, we treat and manage a wide range of eye diseases and conditions using high-end technology and diagnostic equipment.
To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Professional Family Eyecare in Greenville, St Marys & Coldwatertoday!