Glaucoma – Beat the odds of developing this silent killer

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the world. Most often it is associated with build-up of eye pressure which slowly and irreversibly damages the optic nerve. It is painless, manifests no symptoms, virtually undetectable in the early stages and sad to say, it is incurable too. Hence, timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment is the key to protecting yourself against this often silent blinding disease.

Don't let the 'silent thief of sight' sneak up on you! Well, what could be done to prevent glaucoma? The things that could help prevent glaucoma are actually general health recommendations including 

  1. Opting for exercise: Research studies validate that incorporating a moderate exercise regime into your daily routine can considerably reduce the risk of developing the sight-threatening, Glaucoma. Yes, every time you take a brisk walk, jog or a swim you are protecting yourself against Glaucoma. This is because exercises are supposed to have an intraocular pressure lowering effect.
  2. Getting loads of lutein and zeaxanthin: Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the most promising antioxidant vision-enhancers. These important nutrients are found in large quantities particularly in green, leafy vegetables and acts as a potent antioxidant to help lower eye pressure by reducing oxidative damage around the optic nerve. If you are not a big vegetable eater you can take a Lutein supplement daily after consulting your doctor. A multivitamin supplement can address nutritional deficiencies if your diet falls short.
  3. Staying away from Trans-fat: High intake of Omega 3 fatty acids are believed to lower the incidence of Glaucoma. This is because these essential fatty acids help the proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye, reducing the risk of ocular hypertension. The foods that are high in Trans-fats prevent the omega-3 fatty acids from working properly, which can lead to increased eye pressure.
  4. Preventing eye injuries: A blow to the eye or a penetrating injury of the eye can lead to glaucoma. So, protecting your eyes from injury is yet another way to prevent this disease. Make sure that you wear a protective eyewear when engaging in sports, particularly contact sports to ensure eye safety.
  5. Scheduling regular eye exams: Early detection through a comprehensive eye exam is the key to protecting your vision. Having a regular eye exam can pick up subtle but impactful changes in your eyes that you otherwise would be unaware of. So, a trip to an Ophthalmologist may not only be sight-saving but potentially lifesaving.