Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It affects people of all ages but it occurs most commonly in adults in their 70s, 80s, and older. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure glaucoma prevention.
Early detection is the best form of treatment for glaucoma. The condition can mean loss of vision if it is not diagnosed and treated early on.
Here, we look at some of the causes or risk factors for glaucoma. And some of the ways that you can get a head start on glaucoma prevention.
Glaucoma happens when the optic nerves connecting the eyes to the brain become damaged. There are several reasons why this occurs, and researchers are still finding links between glaucoma and other medical conditions and lifestyle factors.
To get a head start on glaucoma prevention it is important to start understanding some of the contributing factors. Among others, these include:
Taking good care of your emotional and mental health is important. Stress may be a contributing factor to glaucoma so it is important to make sure that you take time for rest and relaxation.
If you are at risk of developing glaucoma, an important part of glaucoma prevention is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise and a healthy diet. Bad habits that should be avoided include:
- Over exposure to sunlight
- Little to no regular exercise
- Long periods of time spent at a computer or other screen.
- Misuse or overuse of corticosteroids, such as certain eye drops and creams.
High blood pressure
Having high blood pressure does not directly cause glaucoma. But having high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for glaucoma. Therefore, an important part of glaucoma prevention is ensuring that hypertension is kept in check and under control.
Genetic factors are the leading risk factors for glaucoma.
A family history of glaucoma means that you are more predisposed to the condition yourself. Certain ethnicities may also be more predisposed to glaucoma.
If you are over 40 and have a family history of glaucoma it is very important to get regular eye checks.
Foods to ensure glaucoma prevention
To give yourself the best chance at glaucoma prevention, follow the “VISION” diet.
- Eat a lot of dark green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables. These foods contain a lot of carotenoids.
- Choose fruits and vegetables which have a lot of naturally occurring vitamin C. These include citrus, broccoli, and dark leafy greens.
- Eat foods with a lot of vitamin E, like eggs, nuts, and wheat germ.
- Get some omega 3 fatty acids into your diet with foods like flaxseed, walnuts, and sardines.
The best way to prevent glaucoma and treat it if it occurs is through early detection. For this reason, regular eye checks are of the utmost importance in glaucoma prevention.
This is particularly true if you are of Mexican American, African American, East Asian, or Japanese descent and are over 40 years of age.
Here at the New Jersey Eye Care Center in Bergenfield, NJ, we’re experts at glaucoma detection and early treatment. Book your appointment or drop in to see us for a comprehensive eye check to ensure glaucoma prevention.