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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, the part of the eye that connects the eye to the brain.  When damage to the optic nerve fibers occurs blind spots develop.  Glaucoma is often not detected until significant vision is irreversibly lost.  Early detection during a routine exam is the most common way that early glaucoma is detected.

 

TIPS for Glaucoma Patients…..

We are often asked “Is there anything I can do for my glaucoma in addition to using my glaucoma eye drops?

 

Using glaucoma eye drops as prescribed is the most important thing that you can do. 

That includes:

     •       Adhering to the schedule prescribed by your Ophthalmologist and not missing drops.

     •      Accuracy in getting the drops in the eye.

     •       Allowing the drops to soak in for 3-5 minutes with both eyes closed, not squeezing.

 

There are some additional tips that can help:

• Aerobic exercise (walking) 30-45 minutes per day three to four times per week was found to decrease intra ocular pressure.

• Taking blood pressure medication in the morning and not at night is helpful.  (Consult your primary care physician before changing.)

• If you use a topical beta blocker eye drop once daily, use it in the morning.  If twice a day use morning and night.

• Leafy green vegetables are high in nitrates.  Nitric oxide is a vasodilator and may increase the blood flow to the eye.

• If you have obstructive sleep apnea, use a CPAP or similar device.  It is important to have adequate oxygen to the optic nerve at night.

 

Things to approach with caution:

            Doing anything in a prolonged head down position.

                       • Yoga positions where the head is down increases your eye pressure.

                       • Weeding the garden with your head down increases your eye pressure.

Playing a musical instrument that causes the blood to rush to your face and neck veins to stand out can increase your eye pressure.