New Year’s Resolution: Detect and Treat Glaucoma Early

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, so we at Atlantic Eye are taking this opportunity to talk about this leading cause of vision loss. Glaucoma is a stealth enemy, since there are no symptoms early on. Bottom line is, once vision is lost to glaucoma, it can’t be regained.

But take heart: Early detection and treatment, and some healthy lifestyle choices can help you protect your precious sight against glaucoma.

Early detection
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that anyone age 40 or over have a comprehensive eye exam to detect signs of damage.

Risk factors
You may have a greater risk of glaucoma if you:

  • Are over age 40
  • Are of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage
  • Have high eye pressure detected during an eye exam
  • Are farsighted or nearsighted
  • Have experienced eye trauma or eye injury
  • Have corneas that are thin in the center
  • Have health problems such as diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure or poor blood circulation

Treatment
Appropriate treatment for glaucoma depends on the specific type and severity of the disease. Medicated eye drops or laser treatments are the most common initial approach.

Lifestyle choices
Healthy habits may help minimize the risk of losing your vision to glaucoma.

  • Regular exercise has been shown to slow vision loss from glaucoma.
  • A relaxation program with meditation can lower eye pressure in glaucoma patients.
  • Don’t use CBD as a “natural” glaucoma remedy. A recent study showed that it actually raised eye pressure.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy ones, may give you a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes. Period.
  • Maintain healthy body weight. If body weight is too high, or even too low, or if you have diabetes, you are at increased risk for glaucoma.

Prevention, early detection, and treatment are our best weapons in the fight against glaucoma. The doctors at Atlantic Eye are on your side in this battle, so make a resolution to call us soon to schedule an eye exam – we look forward to seeing you!