Glaucoma is a group of progressive eye diseases caused by damage to your optic nerve, often as a result of high intraocular eye pressure. Glaucoma leads to visual field loss and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure (yet!); however, when glaucoma is caught early, there are steps to reduce the pressure in your eyes and preserve your vision, including eye drops, medications, surgery, or laser treatments.
In addition to treating glaucoma at the earliest signs, Nicanor Lacsina, O.D., and Yelena Pinkhasova, O.D., know that prevention is the best defense against glaucoma.
We share the best tips for reducing your risk of developing glaucoma.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight affects all aspects of your mental and physical well-being, including your health. According to a study published in the Journal of Glaucoma, researchers noted a linear connection between weight loss (in individuals who were obese) with improved pressure levels in the eye. For every 10% of body weight lost, researchers noticed a 1.4 mm Hg decrease in intraocular eye pressure.
Maintaining a healthy weight can also help you manage underlying conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure 一 both of which can increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
Manage underlying health conditions
As mentioned above, high blood pressure and diabetes can increase your risk of glaucoma.
Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, where abnormal blood vessel growth blocks fluid from draining out of your eye. If the fluid can’t drain properly, your eye pressure increases.
According to an article published in the journal Hypertension, both low and high blood pressure can affect the pressure in your eye. Overall, hypertension can increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
To reduce your risk of eye complications from either of these conditions, work with your primary care provider to keep these conditions managed. They may recommend lifestyle changes, exercise, dietary modifications, and medication.
Regular exercise can lower your blood pressure as well as your eye pressure. Aerobic exercise also helps promote blood flow to your eyes.
All these factors can lower your risk of glaucoma as well as hypertension and diabetes.
Smoking increases your risk of many eye-related conditions, including cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do smoke, consider smoking cessation. NYC Quits has several resources, hotlines, and local programs for those who need help quitting.
Schedule your eye exam
Your eye exam is even more crucial if you’re in any at-risk categories. Scheduling a dilated eye exam gives our team the best chance of spotting the earliest signs of glaucoma. Remember, swift treatment can help reduce eye pressure and preserve your vision.
The expert team at Bainbridge Eye Care has been providing glaucoma care to those in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City over 20 years.
Ready to schedule your eye exam? You can reach us at 718-306-9142 or request an appointment.