Part 3 – 5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Glaucoma
Although there are some glaucoma risk factors you can’t change such as your age or race, there are lifestyle changes you can implement to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma. Here are five:
1. Get Regular Dilated Eye Exams
Fact – Glaucoma in its early stages is very difficult to detect organically, as it rarely shows symptoms until it progresses! Dilated eye exams are an effective way to spot damage to the optic nerve before serious side effects occur. If you do not have a family history of glaucoma, the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests this timeline:
- Under 40 years old, every 5 – 10 years
- 40 – 54 years old, every 2 – 4 years
- 55 – 64 years old, 1 – 3 years
- Over 65 years old, every 1 – 2 years
If you have a family history of glaucoma, you may need to have dilated eye exams more frequently. Your Vision Eye Group doctor can discuss a timeline that fits your specific needs.
2. Talk to Your Family Members
If anyone in your immediate or extended family has glaucoma, you are at greater risk for developing it. Knowledge is power! If you know that you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma, you can get more frequent eye exams to spot it early. Talk to as many family members as possible who are blood related – aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and parents.
3. Exercise Often
Aerobic exercises contribute to lowered blood pressure and reduced eye pressure. Consider exercising at least 30 minutes every day to obtain the best results. Here are several aerobic exercises you can do:
- Using an elliptical machine
4. Protect Your Eyes
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, “Traumatic glaucoma is any glaucoma caused by an injury to the eye. This type of glaucoma can occur both immediately after an injury to the eye or years later. It can be caused by injuries that “bruise” the eye (called blunt trauma) and injuries that penetrate the eye.”
Protect your eyes to avoid traumatic glaucoma! Whether you are playing sports or working in a construction zone, always wear safety glasses to keep your eyes safe from flying or sharp objects.
5. Take Prescription Glaucoma Eyedrops
If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor may prescribe glaucoma eyedrops for you to use regularly. Follow his or her instructions on how to use them and how often to ensure the best results. Glaucoma eyedrops can significantly lower eye pressure in your eye, reducing your risk of developing glaucoma.