Did you know that January is Glaucoma Awareness Month? The eye doctors at Shoreline Vision are helping to spread awareness by providing you with a few helpful tips for taking better care of your eye health.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve leading to blindness or vision loss. When fluid is unable to drain properly from your eye, unregulated pressure builds up.
This damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma has no cure, and there is no way to prevent it from occurring. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing this eye condition.
Eating nutritious foods helps you minimize your risk for type 2 diabetes, manage your blood pressure, maintain a healthy body weight, and improve your health. Eat plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.
Additionally, limit yourself to the recommended portion sizes. Following these guidelines can help lower your risk for glaucoma.
Regular exercises done in moderation can benefit your health. Studies have shown that moderate exercises like jogging or walking three or more times a week can lower your intraocular pressure. This can reduce your risk of developing glaucoma by about 73 percent.
Reduce Your Coffee Intake
Drinking coffee can raise eye pressure in the short term for two hours. It is thought that caffeine increases the production of fluid within the eye.
While this short-term increase in pressure is not a cause for alarm for most people, those with a family history of glaucoma should limit their intake if it is over 3-5 cups a day. Another option is going decaf if you cannot live without coffee.
Use Eye Drops
If the pressure inside your eye is high, using pressure-lowering eye drops daily can help protect your vision. People with elevated eye pressure without signs of a damaged optic nerve can reduce their risk of damage by using drops.
But if you have progressive optic nerve loss despite using drops, your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery to lower your eye pressure.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Eye injuries can cause secondary or traumatic glaucoma. It is vital to protect your eyes by wearing the appropriate eyewear when engaging in home improvement projects or sporting activities. Also, ensure you wear your hat and sunglasses to avoid overexposure to the sun.
Destress and Relax
Emotional stress can raise the fluid pressure inside your eyes and trigger acute angle-closure glaucoma. Relaxation techniques like meditation can help you relax and manage your stress levels, helping to lower fluid pressure.
Schedule Frequent, Comprehensive Eye Examinations
The first line of defense against glaucoma is scheduling routine, comprehensive eye exams. During your eye examination, the ophthalmologist will check your optic nerve for any signs of damage.
This will involve measuring your eye pressure and conducting a series of other tests. These tests enable your doctor to diagnose glaucoma early before any symptoms develop.
Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be reversed, but in most cases, if it is found early, further vision loss is preventable.
While glaucoma is not curable, you can avoid further vision loss with the proper treatment. The eye doctors at Shoreline Vision have an extensive background in diagnosing and treating glaucoma.
We strive to identify the early warning signs of glaucoma and provide comprehensive glaucoma management and treatment. If you know glaucoma runs in your family or you are at risk of developing the condition, schedule an appointment at Shoreline Vision in Grand Haven, MI today. Glaucoma doesn’t have to limit your life.