Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Glaucoma Complications


Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that causes blindness in a tenth of its victims, even with proper treatment, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. There is no cure for glaucoma, and it can affect people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. With glaucoma, pressure builds up in the eye, causing retinal damage. Symptoms, which include waning peripheral vision and blurring, are often mild and unnoticeable. There is no cure, but there are surgical procedures and eye drops that can help keep the condition under control. In addition, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to avoid exacerbating your glaucoma. Here are some of them.

Stop smoking and lose weight.

If you currently smoke, it's more important than ever that you stop. Smoking can raise your blood pressure, which, in turn, can raise the pressure inside of your eyes. In the same respect, lowering high blood pressure by losing weight (if you are overweight or obese) can help. These types of lifestyle changes are good for your body as a whole, and your doctor can give you some tips on ways to safely and effectively make these positive changes in your life.

Be careful with yoga.

Although yoga is a great way to relieve stress and keep your muscles and joints flexible, some positions are problematic when it comes to your eye pressure. Specifically, avoid poses like Downward Dog and others that place your eyes below the level of your heart. These positions raise eye pressure and can cause acute problems in those with glaucoma. Any type of inversion (the lowering of the head below the heart level) can be dangerous with this condition.

Wear a hat and sunglasses.

While UV rays don't cause glaucoma or make it worse, patients with the disorder are often very sensitive to glare. The bright light can cause your eyes to water or tear up more than before you developed glaucoma. It can also make it difficult for you to see, and this makes driving dangerous. Protect your eyes from the sun and from potentially dangerous glare by wearing sunglasses and a hat on sunny days. Talk to your eye doctor if you have trouble driving at night due to glare from oncoming headlights, too, as this is a similar concern.

Talk to your eye doctor about air travel after eye surgery.

Occasionally, people who have had eye surgery need to avoid changes in altitude and air pressure. This means that flying might be out for a period of time. If you are having surgery for your glaucoma, ask your ophthalmologist whether you can fly safely. Similarly, if you have air travel coming up, you might need to postpone your eye surgery until you get back home. Because not every glaucoma patient will need to avoid air travel, ask your doctor before making any travel plans.

Exercise regularly.

Aerobic exercise will enhance blood flow to your eyes, and this can reduce eye pressure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two days of muscle-strengthening exercises each week. This is a good goal for everyone, including those with glaucoma. One caveat: It's important that you do not hold your breath while exerting yourself because this can raise eye pressure. Talk to your doctor about whether weightlifting is right for you, particularly if you tend to hold your breath while lifting.

A glaucoma diagnosis can be stressful and overwhelming. Take good care of yourself by eating right, getting plenty of sleep, and making the time to relax with your loved ones to help you cope. In addition, ask an eye doctor such as one at Montgomery Eye Center any questions you may have about your vision and your eye health. With proper treatment, chances are good that you will be able to retain your vision for a long time.


7 September 2016

Taking Your Child To The Optometrist

When it comes to parenting, taking care of your kids can feel like a daily guessing game. You might wonder why your child is acting so fussy, only to figure out a few days later that they are suffering from a cold. Unfortunately, the symptoms of poor vision can be even more difficult to notice, which is why taking your child to an optometrist is so crucial. This blog is all about noticing the signs of eye problems and taking your child to the eye doctor right away. By paying attention and being proactive about eye problems, you can keep your child healthy and happy.