Glaucoma is the name given for eye disorders that, over a period of time, can damage the optic nerve that relays information from the eye to the brain. Often referred to as the “silent thief of sight”, this disease rarely produces noticeable symptoms, such as pain or vision impairment, until the damage inflicted upon the nerve is irreversible, eventually causing blindness. However, some preventive steps and treatment procedures can reduce the progression of the disease, or decrease the risk of initial contraction.
A new European study suggests that an active lifestyle can reduce certain individual’s risk of developing Glaucoma. According to the study, researchers discovered that increased levels of physical exertion could produce positive long-term effects on a persons’ ocular perfusion pressure, or “OPP”. Indicators show that low OPP, calculated by an individual’s blood pressure and intraocular pressure, has a direct influence upon the development of Glaucoma, and that fifteen minutes of exercise increased the level of OPP.
Study author Paul J. Foster, MD, PhD, of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology stated; “…there is certainly an association between a sedentary lifestyle and factors which increase glaucoma risk.”
Glaucoma treatments are consistent with the amount of damage that has previously occurred. The most common and introductory methods of treatment include medicinal eye drops, or oral medication intended to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP). Other, more serious measures can be pursued if the medication seems ineffective.
Glaucoma is a serious medical condition and therefore, should be treated by a medical professional, with the prescription requirements diligently performed. Patients who, for whatever reason, discontinue a prescribed treatment program, without medical advice, increase their chance of irreversible ocular damage.
By carefully following the treatment recommendations of their doctor, and by becoming educated about possible preventive actions, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of Glaucoma induced blindness.