Did you know that glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness?
Glaucoma affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S. alone.
In fact, half of the individuals who have glaucoma don’t realize that they have it!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of progressive eye diseases that causes damage to the optic nerve (the nerve that connects the eye to the brain). If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness.
Most individuals don’t even realize they have glaucoma until they start noticing vision loss.
Glaucoma Risk Factors
- Family history of glaucoma
- Being over the age of 60
- Race (black, hispanic and asians are most at risk)
- Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
- High internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure)
- Severe nearsightedness or farsightedness
- Decreased corneal thickness
4 Ways to “Prevent Glaucoma”
While there are no scientifically proven ways to prevent glaucoma, there are things that you can do to prevent vision loss associated with glaucoma.
Get Regular Eye Exams
When it comes to glaucoma, early detection is critical. Regular comprehensive dilated eye exams will allow your optometrist to detect glaucoma in its early stages before significant damage has occurred.
Research has shown that regular aerobic exercise lowers intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients. Lowering a patient’s IOP is critical to mitigating damage from glaucoma.
The good news? You don’t need to start lifting weights and working out an hour a day in order to reap the benefits of exercise.
Research shows that just 4 20 minute brisk walks a week can lower your IOP!
Take Prescribed Eye Drops
Prescription eye drops can stop glaucoma from progressing. They are critical in helping to prevent glaucoma related blindness.
Wear Eye Protection
Severe eye injury increases an individual’s risk of glaucoma. Before handling power tools or playing racquetball, make sure to wear eye protection.