Did you know…
- More than 3 million individuals in America have glaucoma.
- Glaucoma can lead to complete blindness.
- Anyone, even children, can get glaucoma.
- There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure.
Glaucoma is a complex disease. While we still don’t know exactly how to prevent glaucoma, there are quite a few things you can do that may reduce your risk of getting it. From knowing your family’s history to being mindful of what you eat, the following things may decrease your risk of glaucoma, or slow down the effects of it.
Know Your Family History
Open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma, is hereditary. Knowing that glaucoma runs in your family can help ophthalmologists be on the lookout for early signs of glaucoma and take the necessary steps to treat and slow it down.
If you have a sibling who has glaucoma, your own risk for glaucoma increases greatly. Keep your siblings informed if you are diagnosed with glaucoma, and ask them to do the same.
Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
Oftentimes there are no physical symptoms of glaucoma, which is why regular, comprehensive eye exams are so important. Regular eye exams ensure that any noticeable or hidden signs of glaucoma are detected early on, allowing eye doctors to treat it as soon as possible.
Even if you don’t suspect any eye issues, do yourself a favor and schedule regular eye exams. We recommend that individuals under 50 years schedule comprehensive eye exams at least every two years, and those who are 60 years and over schedule annual exams.
Protect Your Eyes
Not all cases of glaucoma are hereditary. Blunt trauma or injuries that penetrate your eye can cause traumatic glaucoma. Glaucoma may be an immediate result of either of these injuries, or it may develop later on. You can prevent traumatic glaucoma by wearing eye protection whenever you play sports or do construction work, even around the house.
If you experience an eye injury or a hard blow to your head, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.
Be Mindful of Your Nutritional Intake
Scientists are continually refining the list of foods that may aid in prevent glaucoma. The best way you can help your body fight glaucoma is by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, rather than always opting for your favorite. Because different foods contain different vitamins and minerals, switching up your fruits and veggies each week will ensure you are getting a variety of those antioxidants.
The following list contains some of the most common vitamins that are likely to fight against glaucoma, as well as some of the foods they are in.
- Vitamin A: carrots, whole milk, apricots, collard greens, red peppers, egg yolks
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower
- Vitamin E: nuts, meat, vegetable oils, avocados
- Zinc: eggs, leafy green vegetables, peanuts, soybeans
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: leafy green vegetables, celery, cucumbers, corn
- Read the full list of foods with these antioxidants.
Regular exercise can lower your eye pressure, which may reduce the risk of glaucoma. The key word here is “regular.” Exercising reduces eye pressure as long as you continue to exercise regularly; it only takes a few weeks of not exercising for those levels to rise back up.
Develop the habit of exercising 3-4 times a week. Brisk walking and biking are low-impact activities that are easy to maintain, and they still help lower your eye pressure.
Have any questions about glaucoma?
At Broberg Eye Care, our ophthalmologists are dedicated to providing safe and effective glaucoma treatment. To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.