What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that affects your eyesight. These conditions can reduce vision by as much as 40 percent before it’s even detected, and is one of the leading causes of blindness. While there can be different causes and symptoms of Glaucoma, the loss of eyesight is generally caused by a build up of pressure in the optic nerve.

There are currently no cures for glaucoma, but we believe the attention Glaucoma Awareness Month brings to this condition is still valuable. If discovered in the early stages, its worst symptoms can be delayed by medication or surgery. Patients who detect the condition early through regular eye exams can hold on to most of their vision for additional years.

But are there ways to prevent glaucoma from developing in the first place? Check out these tips we have found that help prevent the disease:

Customize your Diet

A healthy diet is important for preventing glaucoma. A 2007 study in the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found a decrease in internal eye pressure among rats that had been fed a diet that was enriched with omega-3 fatty acids. Individuals should consider adding foods like wild salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines to their diet to achieve similar benefits.

Keep up with Eye Exams

Do not forget to see your eye doctor annually. Certain demographic groups, including older adults of Hispanic, Asian, or African-American descent, and who have relatives that have suffered from diabetes or glaucoma, are at higher risk for developing the condition. While everyone should have regular eye exams, individuals who match these criteria are especially encouraged to never skip an exam.

CESLC offers many services to our residents including eye exams. Visit smithlifecommunities.org or call 301-881-0300 to learn more about our spectrum of services for older adults.