Glaucoma Risk, Treatment Options, and Stats

older woman receiving eye drop treatment from nurse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that 3-million Americans have glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, characterized by symptoms including eye pain, redness, and blurred vision. While it can’t be cured, glaucoma treatment includes measures you can take to slow or prevent total vision loss. These glaucoma facts and statistics can help you curbside effects and better manage the condition.

What to Avoid

There are many treatments and activities that can make glaucoma symptoms worse. Avoid these products and activities to decrease your likelihood of worsening glaucoma symptoms.

  • Yoga: Yoga and other exercises may cause a rush of blood to the head. This can potentially make glaucoma symptoms worse as blood pressure and eye pressure build. 
  • Corticosteroid eye drops: These types of steroid eye drops may damage meshwork in the eye. They can lead to a greater likelihood of developing glaucoma or worsen symptoms for those who already have been diagnosed.
  • OTC cold and allergy medications: Certain over-the-counter medications can lead to angle closure. Furthermore, stay away from any medications that cause dilation. The likes of tricyclic antidepressants, atropine, and antipsychotic medications can increase pressure in the eye and eye pain.

How to Lower Your Risk

Risks for glaucoma include family history, injury to the eye, age, and certain medical conditions like heart disease and hypertension. One of the best glaucoma tips, especially for patients aged 40 or older, is to visit your eye doctor regularly. Your eye doctor can detect glaucoma in its early stages and offer continued support in managing its symptoms. Follow these steps to lower your risk of developing this eye disease.

  • Eat right: Leafy greens and foods rich in antioxidants and nitrates can decrease glaucoma risk by up to 30 percent.
  • Stay active: If you stay physically active, studies show you may be about 75-percent less likely to develop glaucoma. A UCLA study found that for every 10-minute increase in moderate activity per week, glaucoma risk was lowered by 25-percent.
  • Schedule comprehensive eye exams regularly: By staying up-to-date on your eye doctor visits, patients increase their chances of early diagnosis and treatment for glaucoma.

Glaucoma Treatment Options

While glaucoma is not entirely curable, there are some treatment options available for this common eye disease. When it comes to glaucoma, early detection is crucial. From there, your glaucoma specialist may administer a variety of treatments that will help reduce damage to the optic nerve. 

  • Laser surgery: One option is a selective laser surgery, which helps drain fluid from the eye and relieve pressure. 
  • Tube shunts: A tube shunt is a drainage device that helps relieve eye pressure in patients with glaucoma. 
  • Eye drops: Glaucoma eye drops are also a common form of relief for glaucoma symptom management.

Contact Florida Eye Specialists Today

Reducing your risk and receiving proper vision care starts with finding the right eye doctor in Jacksonville, FL. Contact Florida Eye Specialists today for a detailed eye exam. Understanding the facts and treatment options is your key to lowering risk and managing the effects of glaucoma. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.