Lifestyle Changes and Prevention of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious problem, as it can lead to irreversible vision loss due to damage to optic nerve, which in turn is due to rise in intraocular pressure (the pressure inside your eyes due to presence of fluid called aqueous humor). Damage done by glaucoma is irreversible; hence, the best way to handle it is to prevent it. It may not be possible to prevent glaucoma completely, however, by following certain steps, it can be diagnosed/detected early and vision loss prevented to a great extent. The following steps are helpful in preventing glaucoma and vision loss due to it,

  • Regular eye checkups: experts advise to get comprehensive eye checkups every four years from age of 40 years and every two years after age 65. If you have any risk factors of glaucoma, you may need more frequent eye checkups. You may also need yearly or biannual checking of intraocular pressure. These regular eye checkups can detect glaucoma early and help prevent vision loss by starting treatment early.
  • Regular exercise can help reduce intraocular pressure. Consult your doctor about the type of exercise you may use for eye health.
  • Glaucoma can run in families. Find out if any of your first degree relatives have glaucoma and be careful if they have.
  • Injury to eye can lead to glaucoma. Hence, make sure to wear eye protection if you are using power tools, go outdoor (especially if you hiking or a forest trip), play racket sports etc.
  • Follow your doctor’s instruction carefully and strictly and use your eye drops regularly as prescribed. This can help maintain normal intraocular pressure and prevent symptoms of glaucoma.

Lifestyle changes that are helpful in glaucoma are:

  • Healthy diet: this is not only for good physical overall health, but necessary for good eye health too. Various vitamins and minerals are essential for eye health, hence, add green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and fish rich in omega-3 acids to your diet. Although healthy diet may not prevent glaucoma, but for overall eye health healthy diet is good.
  • Control your caffeine intake. High caffeine intake can increase your intraocular pressure.
  • Drink any fluid in moderation throughout the day. However, drinking any fluid in excess may lead to temporary rise in intraocular pressure.
  • Keep your head elevated during sleep, approximately 20 degree. This has shown to reduce intraocular pressure during sleep.

 

Image courtesy of [Ambro] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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