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How to Prevent Glaucoma: Lifestyle Changes and Tips

How to Prevent Glaucoma: Lifestyle Changes and Tips

Factors such as genetics, ethnicity, and age play a huge part in developing glaucoma which makes the disease difficult to prevent. There is no absolute way on how to prevent glaucoma. However, vision impairment and blindness caused by glaucoma is something a person can avoid.

Glaucoma Causes: Can You Prevent This Eye Disease?

Preventing Vision Impairment from Glaucoma

Here’s what you can do:

Know your family’s health background

Glaucoma is hereditary. Knowing the family history can help the person prepare on how to prevent glaucoma and do the necessary lifestyle changes. It is also a reminder for them to have an eye checkup regularly.

Know the risk factors

Everyone is at risk of developing glaucoma but some groups are more at risk of developing the disease. People from a specific race or people with refractive errors such as nearsightedness and farsightedness are at risk of developing the disease earlier than normal

Get regular comprehensive eye-check ups

One of the most crucial steps on how to prevent glaucoma is early detection of the disease. Comprehensive eye checkups allow the doctor to check the eyes more closely. They will be able to check the drainage angle as well as the condition of the optic nerve.

Comprehensive eye checkups include dilation of the pupil. Normally the pupil becomes smaller when light is shone on it. Your doctor will use special eye drops to keep the pupils open so they can have a better view of the optic nerve.

Dilation will cause light sensitivity and difficulty reading for at least 4 to 6 hrs until the eye goes back to normal. The procedure is safe and the doctor might provide disposable sunglasses to help with light sensitivity.

Eat healthy food

It is no secret that the food we eat has a big impact on our health. Eating the right kinds of food can help in preventing glaucoma.

Eat food that is rich in vitamins such as eggs, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Food rich in omega-3 such as chia seeds, tuna, and salmon is also good for your eyes.

Having a well-balanced diet not only prevents glaucoma, but also keeps a person away from other health problems.

Exercise regularly but also safely

Regular moderate exercise can decrease intraocular pressure. Jogging at least twice or thrice in a week can be beneficial to your eyes.

However, avoid overexertion and too much heavy lifting. Too much exercise may also increase intraocular pressure.

In addition, avoid exercises that require you to be in a head-down position for long periods as this increases intraocular pressure.

Overall Eye Health: All You Need to Know

Tell your doctor about your medication

Some medications such as corticosteroids and blood pressure medicine can increase the risk of developing glaucoma. Ask your doctors about the risks involved in taking your medication and what practices you can do to lower your risk of developing glaucoma.

An example would be asthmatic patients using inhalers to control their asthma. These people are at risk of developing open-angle glaucoma because of the steroids their inhalers contain.

Protect your eyes

Whether it would be from injury or the heat of the sun, always protect your eyes by wearing the proper eyewear.

When you are under the heat of the sun, use quality polarized sunglasses. Ultraviolet light can cause certain types of glaucoma.

If you are at a laboratory or workshop, make sure to wear goggles to avoid particles or chemicals from entering your eyes. Glaucoma can easily develop if something goes inside your eyes and clogs the drainage pathway.

Avoid consuming too much caffeine

Coffee and energy drinks usually contain a lot of caffeine. Caffeine can increase pressure inside the eyes for 90 minutes. Drinking one to two servings of coffee or energy drink is unlikely to cause any harm. But drinking too much of these might pose some risks in developing glaucoma.

Avoid smoking

Smoking is linked to several health concerns including vision loss. Smoking makes a person prone not only to glaucoma but also to age-related macular degeneration, dry eyes, and even cataracts.

Take prescribed eye drops

Whether you have early signs of glaucoma or are at risk of glaucoma, your doctor might prescribe eye drops to prevent any vision loss from occurring. Eye drops can significantly lower the risk of glaucoma. But in order for the medication to be effective, one has to take them regularly as prescribed.

Key Takeaways

There is no sure way on how to prevent glaucoma. However, there are steps a person can take to prevent vision loss due to glaucoma. Staying healthy, eating right, being wary of the medication a person is taking, avoiding smoking, and protecting your eyes are just some of the ways a person can prevent glaucoma.

Learn more about Glaucoma here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Glaucoma: Prevention & Risk Factors, https://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/prevention-and-risk-factors, Accessed January 31, 2021

Glaucoma, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glaucoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372839, Accessed January 31, 2021

What Can I Do to Prevent Glaucoma?, https://www.glaucoma.org/gleams/what-can-i-do-to-prevent-glaucoma.php, Accessed January 31, 2021

10 Things To Do Today To Prevent Vision Loss From Glaucoma, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/easy-steps-to-prevent-vision-loss-from-glaucoma, Accessed January 31, 2021

Don’t Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight!, https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/glaucoma-awareness.html, Accessed January 31, 2021

The Dilated Eye Exam: Why It’s So Important, https://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/article/dilated-eye-exam-why-its-so-important, Accessed January 31, 2021

Smoking Can Lead to Vision Loss or Blindness, https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/smoking_can_lead_to_vision_loss_or_blindness.htm#:~:text=Smoking%20has%20long%20been%20known,retinopathy%20and%20Dry%20Eye%20Syndrome, Accessed January 31, 2021

Can Glaucoma be managed with lifestyle modification?https://www.eyeworld.org/article-can-glaucoma-be-managed-with-lifestyle-modification-, Accessed January 31, 2021

 

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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated May 23
Medically reviewed by Victor Ephraime V. Paulino, MD, DPBO