Currently, regular comprehensive eye examinations are the best form of protection against glaucoma-related vision loss. Early diagnosis and careful, lifelong treatment can help maintain eyesight in most people. Eye doctors recommend yearly testing for anyone over 35 with risk factors for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve. Without treatment, it can cause irreversible vision loss or even blindness. According to the WHO, it is the second leading cause of blindness globally. Unfortunately, this eye disease can go undetected in its early stages because it often produces little or no symptoms.
You can prevent vision loss from glaucoma by doing the following:
Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential if you are at high risk of developing this disease. Some risk factors for glaucoma include chronic hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, family history, and age. Your eye doctor can detect signs of the disease in its early stages and recommend the appropriate action. You should also take your medication exactly as your eye doctor instructs.
Follow a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to protect your eyes and body. Consume lots of leafy green veggies, fresh fruits, and berries. According to studies, eye-healthy foods are better at preventing glaucoma than vitamin supplements.
Intense workouts can increase your eye pressure and heart rate. If you have glaucoma, avoid high-intensity exercise; instead, stick to moderate activities that do not get your heart rate and eye pressure too high. Otherwise, use a proper breathing technique if you prefer intense exercises.
Eye injuries can increase the risk of glaucoma. So, you should wear protective eyewear for sports and work.
High doses or prolonged steroid use can raise your eye pressure. Those you use around the eyes or take orally are most likely to increase eye pressure. So, you should inform your eye doctor if you are on any steroid medication.
Do not sleep with your eyes pressed against your arm or the pillow. Otherwise, you risk developing glaucoma if you have obstructive sleep apnea. Also, it would help to schedule a test for OSA if you stop breathing or snore heavily throughout the night.
Avoid placing your head below your heart for long periods if you have glaucoma. Such positions can raise your eye pressure, increasing your risk of glaucoma-related vision loss.
Eye care professionals recommend UV-blocking sunglasses since studies suggest that UV rays may contribute to glaucoma. Wear a hat and polarized sunglasses when venturing outdoors.
Studies link periodontitis with optic nerve damage in glaucoma. So, ensure you floss and brush at least twice daily and undergo regular dental exams.
Glaucoma damage can worsen if your blood pressure drops too low while asleep. Tell your eye doctor if you experience low blood pressure or take blood pressure medication at night.
You cannot regain the vision you lose from glaucoma. Also, eye doctors are yet to discover how to prevent the development of glaucoma. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent vision loss and blindness from glaucoma.
For more on glaucoma, visit Eyes of Starwood at our Frisco, Texas, office. Call (972) 544-4300 to schedule an appointment today.