How Can I Prevent Glaucoma?
August 12, 2022
Many people are familiar with the term glaucoma but are unfamiliar with what it actually means. Glaucoma is damage to the nerve in the back of the eye (called the “optic nerve”) caused by fluid building up inside the eye, which leads to vision loss. Some people untruly believe that glaucoma can be inevitable. However, did you know that you can take steps to prevent glaucoma? Here’s what to know about preventing glaucoma with the help of your ophthalmologist.
Regular eye exams
Regular eye exams and screening for glaucoma are the most effective prevention. Experts recommend that you be checked regularly for glaucoma by your eye doctor. As you get older, you should be checked more frequently because glaucoma can progress more rapidly as you age. Of course, the right testing schedule for you can also depend on whether you have risk factors like diabetes or a family history. Your ophthalmologist can assess the factors that relate to you and determine an appropriate testing schedule.
Exercise and healthy movement
As well as improving your overall health, some studies have shown that regular exercise like walking or running at least three times per week can reduce your risk of glaucoma. It’s important to be consistent, however, as you’ll lose the benefits if you stop exercising. Also, avoid prolonged activities or positions that invert your body (commonly in yoga or aerial fitness) since this can increase your eye pressure. If you need help beginning an exercise regimen or becoming more active, start by walking outside with your favorite podcast or audiobook at least three times per week. Your ophthalmologist can also help you find activities that keep you energetic and passionate about moving your body.
Glaucoma can actually be caused by traumatic injury to the eyes (called traumatic glaucoma or secondary glaucoma). If you sustain an eye injury or have had one in the past, make sure to see your ophthalmologist right away or let them know about your health history. Also, make sure to always wear appropriate eye protection when playing sports, doing projects around the home, or working.
Schedule an Appointment
Partnering with an experienced ophthalmologist is the best way to prevent glaucoma. Contact our Falls Church, VA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Anh Nguyen and our team by calling or filling out our online contact form.