Regular screening for glaucoma is the best prevention against this disease.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is damaged. This eventually leads to irreversible blindness. Glaucoma occurs due to the increased pressure of the fluid in the eye. It is one of the leading causes of blindness globally.

Unfortunately glaucoma presents no symptoms and gives no warnings. One doesn’t even experience any pain. It sneaks upon the individual so slowly that the gradual loss of sight often goes unnoticed until it is too late to save the vision. Glaucoma hence is called the ‘silent thief of sight’.

Prevention is the only way out. For that, the first thing to do is to analyse whether one is at risk. This will help decide whether screening is necessary or not. Getting people to acknowledge the possibility of risks and go for screening is the biggest challenge.

Unfortunately, there are no good clinical studies that definitively show lifestyle choices and nutrition can prevent or control glaucoma. But with these suggestions one may be able to reduce risk of glaucoma.

Being generally healthy can reduce risk of glaucoma. In particular, some studies have correlated high blood pressure with elevated intraocular pressure. In addition, insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) has been linked to elevated intraocular pressure. To reduce these risks, eat a healthy balanced diet and try to remain at or near ideal weight.

People who are at risk for open-angle glaucoma can lessen their eye pressure with low-impact workouts four times a week with each session taking around 10 minutes. Try not to overdo as vigorous exercise might lead to Pigment Dispersion Syndrome, in which coloured parts from the iris fall off in flakes. This is often the first symptom to a kind of secondary glaucoma called pigmentary glaucoma.

Many eye injuries occur during recreational sports, so wear eye protection to reduce the risk of injury-related secondary glaucoma.

Finally, remaining upside-down for long periods can increase intraocular pressure, and is an important consideration for those who engage in yoga.

Drinking habit of a person has not been studied in relation to glaucoma yet. But it has been correlated with low BP. Research has proved that people who drink more than a quart of liquor at one time experience increased intraocular pressure temporarily. This risk can be avoided if one keep sipping fluids i.e. have at least 8-10 glasses of fluids in a day. This holds true for caffeine-addicts as well. Hence people who have or are at risk for glaucoma are encouraged to limit their caffeine intake.

Going for regular glaucoma screenings is the Best Prevention against possible optical nerve damage.


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