28 Feb Do Lifestyle Choices Affect Glaucoma?
With glaucoma being one of the most common causes of legal blindness in the world, you want to do everything possible to halt the progression of the disease. The cutting-edge treatments at our offices are one step, but lifestyle choices can go a long way in preserving your vision without having to resort to medications or surgery, even if you’re afflicted with glaucoma.
Adopt strategies at home to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, even if you do have this disease that damages the optic nerve. Lifestyle factors can influence eye pressure – a major risk factor for glaucoma. Sustained lowering of eye pressure is the singular most important aspect of glaucoma treatment.
Research shows that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise helps lower eye pressure. Participate in the minimum 150 minutes per week recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help promote healthy vision. If exercise is new to you, seek your doctor’s approval before starting an exercise program.
Other types of exercise can potentially raise eye pressure and pose an additional risk if you suffer from glaucoma. Heavy weight lifting can increase eye pressure, especially if you tend to hold your breath as you lift. Be conscious of staying in control of your breath and movements if you do exercise with weights and strength training.
Yoga can also be problematic if you regularly hold positions that put your head below your heart. Shoulder Stand, Plow, and Headstand may be contraindicated. Other yoga poses offer great benefit to your health and well-being, so don’t skip out on exercise altogether.
A moderate intake of alcohol is unlikely to increase your eye pressure or increase your risk of developing or worsening glaucoma. However, abuse of alcohol has many other health risks, so it’s always a good idea to imbibe responsibly.
Smoking cigarettes and consuming tobacco has an overall poor effect on the health of your eyes and can increase eye pressure. If you smoke, seek assistance to help you quit – it’s nearly impossible to do on your own.
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks may raise your eye pressure temporarily. While consuming caffeine in moderation doesn’t have a lasting effect on glaucoma, drinking more than five cups of caffeinated beverages — like coffee — per day can increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
Being obese can contribute to the worsening of glaucoma. It may be because extra weight makes it harder to breathe efficiently and you end up not getting enough oxygen to the optic nerve. Consider embarking on a comprehensive weight-loss plan that includes diet, exercise, and medical management to reduce your weight and slow the progression of glaucoma.
Hobbies and Other Factors
If you’re a musician, know that playing specific wind instruments – including the trumpet and oboe – can raise your eye pressure. Swimmers should be sure to wear goggles to protect their eyes from possible irritants in the water as well.
Avoid rubbing your eyes, even if they itch. Moreover, opt for non-allergenic cosmetic brands and replace cosmetic products often to ward off possible infections. Stay on top of your overall health, too. A healthy, resilient body is less likely to experience progression of glaucoma.