Glaucoma, or as it often called the “silent thief of vision”, is a group of diseases that damages the optic nerve gradually — and often without any noticeable warning signs.
The best way to save your sight from glaucoma is to catch it early, through regular comprehensive dilated eye assessments. However, research studies have also supported some lifestyle changes to prevent glaucoma (and a few other diseases, too). We offer 07 tips for glaucoma prevention.
1) Eat green, keep clean
The research revealed that boosting the intake of leafy greens is associated with a reduced risk of developing primary open-angle glaucoma. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which carries visual information to the brain. Increased pressure from fluid in the eye or impaired blood flow to the optic nerve are considered hallmark causes of glaucoma. The human body converts nitrate of leafy greens to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps maintain optimal blood flow and potentially keeps eye pressure low. Eating two salads a day with romaine and leafy greens can lead to a 60 percent reduction in developing paracentral glaucoma.
2) Avoid sun to shine
Your eyes have to process a large number of light rays when you are out in the sun. Inevitably, some harmful UV rays will come your way. These UV rays could contribute to the formation of exfoliation material in the anterior segment of your eye, clogging the drain and adding to pressure in the eye. Less eye exposure to the sun will likely result in fewer cataracts and will help prevent exfoliation glaucoma.
3) Teeth do matter
Each tooth has its own microbiome, which could generate some kind of inflammatory biomarker. An interesting study conducted on more than 40,500 male health professionals over 26 years found a positive association between recent tooth loss from periodontal disease and primary open-angle glaucoma. The thought here is that periodontal disease stimulates the immune system, making glaucoma worse.
4) Keep a check on blood sugar
If your doctor tells you your blood sugar is borderline, you should get it under control. Although it’s controversial about whether or not type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for primary open-angle glaucoma, a worldwide analysis of the data says the answer is yes. A study indicated there is something about insulin resistance that contributes to the glaucoma disease process. People with higher blood sugars have higher eye pressures, which we know is a contributor to the development of glaucoma.
5) Exercise in moderation
Exercise is known to lower intraocular pressure and produce plenty of cardiovascular benefits. Ultimately, moderate exercise will only improve your overall health. The key here is “moderate”—some data suggests that exercising to exhaustion is bad for glaucoma, as it may overstress the cardiovascular auto-regulatory system.
6) Glaucoma history may repeat itself
If you have a bad family history, the risk of developing glaucoma increases by three-fold. In conjunction with folks around the world, Mass. Eye and Ear researchers are discovering that many genes lead to glaucoma. Research reveals carrying more of these associated genes translates to developing the disease at an earlier point in time. As such, it’s essential to understand that glaucoma is not always related to age.
7) Healthy and balanced body weight
Patients with a very high Body Mass Index (BMI) have higher pressure in their eyes, and those with a very low BMI are at risk for primary angle glaucoma, as the pressure around the brain is low and pushes the optic nerve inward. You don’t want to have too little or too much weight—you should aim to be right in the middle if possible.
At the end of the day, there are a variety of factors that contribute to our glaucoma risk. These 7 habits may lower your risk of developing glaucoma, and they will certainly improve your overall health.