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How Can You Slow Down the Progression of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma?

by Luukas Harju

If your eye doctor diagnoses you with primary open-angle glaucoma, you may wonder if there's a way to slow down the disease's progression to avoid going blind. Although there's no way to stop primary open-angle glaucoma from happening, you can take steps to keep it from becoming worse with medication, surgery, and a change in your diet. This type of glaucoma develops when the optic nerve weakens from intense pressure. The optic nerve relays sensory messages to your brain. If the nerve loses its ability to transmit messages, you lose your ability to see. Here's what you need to know about your eye condition and the treatment options available to you. 

What's Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma?

Primary open-angle glaucoma is just one of many types of optic nerve eye conditions that affect adults and children. However, open-angle glaucoma typically occurs in about 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with optic nerve conditions. Although most cases of open-angle glaucoma aren't diagnosed until it's too late, frequent visits to an eye doctor can help locate it before it completely damages the optic nerves.

An eye doctor can detect high pressure in your eyes during routine exams with special optical equipment, scans, and visual field tests. If this is how your eye doctor diagnosed your glaucoma, it's essential that you receive vision care right away to slow down its progression. One of the things your eye doctor might do is prescribe special oral or optical medications that gradually reduce the pressure around your optic nerves. Some medications help the fluids in your eyes drain properly through the tear canals, while other optical drugs decrease the production of the fluids in your eyes. Medications called miotics decrease the sizes of your pupils. Decreased pupils allow the fluids in your eyes to drain correctly when pressure builds up in them.

Your eye doctor may offer surgery to release the pressure in your eyes if the medication options don't work for you. The surgery techniques vary, but laser eye surgery is one of the most common methods used today. The surgery requires a specialist to cut a small opening in the front portion of your eyes to release built-up fluids.

It's essential that you discuss your treatment options with your eye doctor immediately to reduce the severity of your open-angle glaucoma. Until you seek guidance from your eye doctor, take steps to reduce your eye pressure at home.

What Can You Do to Slow Down Your Eye Condition's Progression at Home?

Making small changes to your daily diet is a good way to reduce the problems of primary open-angle glaucoma. Sources recommend eating leafy green vegetables, such as kale, to increase blood circulation to the optic nerve. Primary open-angle glaucoma decreases blood circulation to the optic nerves, which prevents the nerves from receiving the proper nutrients and oxygen they need to survive.

Leafy green vegetables contain high amounts of natural nitrates, a nutrient that improves blood flow in the cardiovascular system and body's organs. Although eating processed nitrates can be bad for your health, foods that contain natural nitrates may benefit you. You can also add bananas, white potatoes, and many other foods that contain natural nitrates. However, if you still have concerns about nitrates, consult with your eye or medical doctor.

In addition to eating more foods with healthy nitrates, exercising at least three times a week may also improve the blood circulation in your body and eyes. It's a good idea that you see your medical doctor before you begin any type of exercise program to ensure that you can do so safely.

If you need more information about your glaucoma condition, find an eye doctor today through a website like