Increasing Glaucoma Awareness is Just the Beginning

Glaucoma St. Chester, NJJanuary is glaucoma awareness month, a time during which more light is shed on a potentially serious eye disease. At Silverstein Eye Center in Chester, NJ, glaucoma is an important topic of discussion all throughout the year. Here, we provide precise screenings for individuals with a known risk for glaucoma. We also help patients who aren’t sure what their risk is to identify if they have one at all and, if they do, what they can do to protect their vision.

There are several reasons why we need to increase awareness of glaucoma. First, this group of eye diseases is predicted to affect as many as 79 million people in the next few years. Second, glaucoma is a type of eye disease that damages the optic nerve by compressing it, thereby making vision loss the first noticeable symptom of a problem. Because the primary characteristic of glaucoma is elevated eye pressure, this is something we measure carefully during comprehensive eye exams. Special instruments may also be used to observe the finer details of the optic nerve so any indication of disease can be caught early, while treatment remains most effective.

Becoming Aware of Do’s and Don’ts

Life with glaucoma or even a higher risk for this eye disease may consist largely of management. What do we want to manage? Ocular pressure. We can do so with certain medications. However, patients are also encouraged to become aware of lifestyle strategies for glaucoma care. These include:

Healthy eating.

Studies have linked eye health to the consumption of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. For glaucoma patients, the greatest benefits seem to come from the antioxidants in leafy greens like spinach and kale. Consuming greens regularly can significantly decrease risks associated with glaucoma.

Healthy exercise.

In a recent study, researchers found a correlation between a sedentary lifestyle and increased ocular pressure. Further investigation led study researchers of one study to a noted decrease in ocular pressure in active individuals. It has been estimated that just 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity can reduce the risk of glaucoma by approximately 25 percent.

Healthy living.

Did you know that, if you have glaucoma, you should avoid certain yoga poses, such as headstands or downward-facing dog? This is because inversions increase pressure in the eyes. People with glaucoma are also advised to avoid marijuana. Contrary to what some celebrities have said, marijuana may not be the ideal way to manage glaucoma. Use of this drug may initially lower ocular pressure but, in some people, create a bounce-back in which pressure then increases to a level that could damage the optic nerve.

We’re here to support your long-term eye health. Call our Chester office at 908.879.7297 to schedule your eye exam.

Posted in: Glaucoma

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