Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve in the eye. It develops and worsens gradually. It often occurs when pressure builds up inside the eye. The rise in pressure, also known as intraocular pressure, damages the optic nerve that transmits images to the brain.
Most people with the condition get it in their old age. It often runs in families and can progress gradually. You can experience total blindness or permanent vision loss if the damage worsens.
Glaucoma often has no pain or early symptoms. Thus, regular eye exams are ideal so your eye doctor can diagnose the condition and start early treatment. Lost vision is irreversible, but you can save the remaining sight by lowering the intraocular pressure. Read on to learn about lifestyle choices that can reduce your glaucoma risk.
Your diet can help keep your eyes healthy and reduce your risk for glaucoma. Dark leafy greens have nitrates that change to nitric oxides that protect against the condition once you ingest them. They protect your eyes from glaucoma through the increased outflow of aqueous humor.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits for the nitrates and antioxidants they offer. Go for citrus fruits, carrots, green leafy vegetables, peaches, cruciferous vegetables, and berries. Always look for meals filled with nitrates, carotenes, and vitamins A and C to lower your glaucoma risk.
Studies show that individuals who work out regularly have a low risk of getting glaucoma. You can exercise moderately to change the pressure and blood flow inside your eyes.
Experts encourage patients to do aerobic exercises. It reduces intraocular pressure. However, it is essential to do it all in moderation. Vigorous workouts done daily can increase the risk of glaucoma. It increases the free radical concentration in your body, and the inflammatory reactions can increase glaucoma risk.
Drinking caffeinated drinks like coffee can increase eye pressure for about two hours. The short-term rise may not be dangerous to some people. However, individuals with advanced glaucoma or a family history of the condition should reduce their caffeine intake.
Caffeine increases aqueous or fluid production in the eye. Reduction means having fewer cups of coffee daily if you usually exceed three or five. You can consider safer options, like decaffeinated beverages.
Smoking is generally harmful to your health. Tobacco compounds can cause ocular perfusion alterations. They can reduce antioxidant levels and increase free radicals in the aqueous humor and ocular tissue. That causes an increase in intraocular pressure and damages the optic nerve.
The compounds in tobacco products are detrimental to your ocular health and general wellness. Hence, you can lower your glaucoma risk by quitting smoking or seeking professional help to help you stop the habit.
Being overweight or obese has a link to a rise in eye pressure. Studies show that individuals with a high body mass index (BMI) have a high chance of developing diabetes. The disease increases the risk of glaucoma. A body mass index that is too low also increases glaucoma risk. Hence, it is ideal to have a healthy weight for your general and ocular health.
For more information about glaucoma, visit Miller Vision Center at our office in Norman, OK. Call (405) 389-4200 to book an appointment today.