7 Tips For Preventing Glaucoma

Posted on: 23 December 2015

Glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness and is quite common among Americans. In fact, about 3 million people in the United States have this eye disease, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Although anyone can develop glaucoma, it is more common in people over the age of 60. The thought of developing this eye disease is scary, but you can do things to lower your risk. Here are seven helpful tips for preventing glaucoma:

Get Your Exercise In

It turns out that exercise can do more than just help you maintain a healthy weight. If you work out regularly, you can reduce your risk of developing glaucoma in the future. Researchers at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology looked at how exercise and low ocular perfusion pressure are correlated by monitoring 5,650 men and women in England. The scientists found that moderate exercise can reduce a person's risk of glaucoma by 25 percent. If you make an effort to exercise most days of the week for 30 minutes, you will be less likely to suffer from glaucoma.

Include the Right Foods in Your Diet

The types of foods you eat can have a big impact on your eye health. For example, if there is too much sodium in your diet, it can increase intra-ocular pressure in your eyes, upping your chances of developing glaucoma. Ask your doctor how much sodium you should be consuming on a daily basis. If you add leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, to your diet, you can lower your risk of glaucoma. These vegetables contain antioxidants that can help reduce pressure in your eyes. Other foods to add to your diet include fatty fish, nuts, apricots and carrots.

Wear Protective Eyewear

When you are playing a contact sport or working around hazardous chemicals, it is essential to put on protective eyewear. If a ball hits your face or harmful particles get in your eyes, it can increase your risk of eye diseases, like glaucoma.

Control Diabetes

The higher your insulin levels are, the more pressure you will have in your eyes. If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of glaucoma, so you must keep your insulin levels under control. Take your medicine as directed and try to maintain a healthy weight.

Lower Your Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is currently higher than normal, you should take steps to lower it. High blood pressure does not just increase your risk of heart disease; it can also increase pressure in your eyes. You can lower your blood pressure by reducing sodium in your diet, losing excess weight and limiting alcohol.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Even if you do not possess any risk factors for glaucoma, you should still get your eyes checked by an optometrist once a year. During the exam, he or she will look for early signs of glaucoma and other eye diseases. If you show signs of the eye disease, your eye doctor can give you medicine to slow down the progression.

Stop Smoking

It is common knowledge that smoking can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. However, did you also know that smoking tobacco can also damage your eyes? According to Eye Fit Vision Centers, tobacco use can lead to primary open-angle glaucoma in the future. Quitting this habit right now can potentially save your eyesight.

Glaucoma does not have to happen to you. If you follow these helpful tips, you can lower your risk of developing this eye disease in the future. However, if you still notice symptoms of glaucoma, go to the doctor right away.