It is possible to have glaucoma and not even know it. The condition slowly damages the eye’s optic nerve, and people with it usually lose vision before they notice a problem.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. Fluid in the eye does not drain properly and pressure grows, eventually leading to damage of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is an important link between your eyes and brain.
This type of glaucoma first takes away your side vision or peripheral vision – so it can be rather elusive. Over time, however, it may begin to impact central vision, or what you see in front of you.
Once vision is lost from glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Doctors don’t even really know how to stop it from developing.
There are, however, some ways to prevent serious vision loss and blindness from glaucoma.
Regular Eye Exams: Regular eye exams can help spot glaucoma early and allow for more treatment options. The earlier it is identified, the easier it can be to slow its progress. It’s a good idea to learn your family history so your doctor can assess your risk level.
Eat Well: Eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables can help protect your eyes. Getting vitamins and minerals from nutritious foods is more effective than supplementing with vitamins.
Exercise Carefully: Intense exercise can boost heart rate and eye pressure. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, stick to moderate exercise, brisk walking, and work at a pace that doesn’t get your heart rate too high. If you prefer high-intensity exercise, proper breathing technique is a must.
Protect Your Eyes: Eye injuries can boost the risk for glaucoma, so wear protective eyewear for work and sports. UV rays may also contribute to glaucoma, so getting a pair of 100% UV-blocking sunglasses is recommended.
Have Sleep Apnea Treated: There is a close link between sleep apnea and glaucoma, so treating sleep apnea may slow the progression of glaucoma.