Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. With glaucoma, which has several forms, high intraocular pressure causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve. There’s no cure for glaucoma, but early detection and treatment can help slow or prevent vision loss.
There are also several steps you can take to prevent glaucoma complications. In this blog, our experts at Maryland Eye Care Center share a few tips.
Attend regular eye exams
Early detection of glaucoma is crucial for preventing vision loss, as treatment can help slow the progression of the disease. The only way to detect glaucoma (or its complications) early is through routine, comprehensive eye exams.
During an eye exam, your Maryland Eye Care Center provider checks for signs of glaucoma, such as elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and optic nerve damage.
It’s recommended adults receive a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years, especially if you have diabetes, which can increase your risk of glaucoma. You may need a different schedule, but we provide guidance on next steps and recommendations for routine eye exams.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can help prevent glaucoma complications, especially intraocular pressure.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides essential nutrients important for eye health. The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends your diet include vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, bananas, pumpkin seeds, avocados, and black beans.
Regular exercise improves blood flow and can reduce intraocular pressure, which helps prevent optic nerve damage 一 and you don’t have to run a marathon to get these benefits! Research shows a 10-minute increase in walking each week can yield a 25% reduction in glaucoma risk.
Manage your medical conditions
High blood pressure and diabetes increase your risk of glaucoma and exacerbate existing glaucoma. Controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels can help reduce the risk of complications.
If you have either condition, it’s important to manage them through regular medical care, medication management, and lifestyle changes 一 not just for your eye health but your overall health too.
Protect your eyes
Protecting your eyes from injury can help prevent complications related to traumatic glaucoma. Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports or any activity where debris can hit your eyes. That includes cutting wood, drilling, or other construction projects.
Follow your treatment plan
If you’re diagnosed with glaucoma, follow your treatment plan as directed. That’s the best way to prevent complications if you already have high eye pressure.
Your treatment may include eye drops, oral medications, or surgery to lower intraocular pressure and prevent optic nerve damage. Always take medication as prescribed and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor your condition.
Here at Maryland Eye Care Center, we use laser technology to treat advanced glaucoma. Laser trabeculoplasty, for example, unclogs your eye’s drainage system, while filtering surgery creates a new drainage route.
If you’re overdue for an eye exam or have concerns about glaucoma, schedule a consultation by phone or online today at one of our locations in Hyattsville and Silver Spring, Maryland.