Glaucoma is a serious condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. For people over 60, glaucoma can lead to blindness but can be prevented with early treatment. But what kind of treatment is ideal for you?
According to Web MD, doctors may prescribe glaucoma patients with prescription eyedrops. The eyedrops will either reduce the formation of fluid in the eye or increase its outflow. Side effects of this medication include allergies, redness, stinging, blurred vision and irritated eyes. Some glaucoma drugs may affect your heart and lungs. This may be why many people are turning to cannabis to treat their glaucoma instead of these harmful chemicals.
The ability of cannabis to improve the symptoms of glaucoma has been proven in many research studies, going all the way back to the 1970s. Despite these findings, very few ophthalmologists support the use of medical marijuana in patients with early to mid-stage glaucoma. However, patients who use cannabis for glaucoma, have reported improvements in various symptoms, one being reduced Intraocular Pressure (IOP). Increased intraocular pressure is a major risk factor in the majority of glaucoma cases. Continuous events of high intraocular pressure can cause optic nerve damage, leading to total blindness. Cannabis has been known to reduce inflammation in the eye, therefore lowering IOP.
Because the therapeutic effects of cannabis on glaucoma patients are short-term, it is important for patients to consume cannabis frequently – typically once every 3 to 4 hours. Since doctors advocate that glaucoma needs to be treated 24 hours a day, patients would need to consume medical marijuana 6 to 8 times over the course of a 24 hour period to achieve consistently lowered IOP levels.
Although ophthalmologists are weary about using cannabis in early stages, they are beginning to embrace it at end stages of glaucoma. They consider it less about targeting the glaucoma, and more about alleviating the symptoms.
Overall I believe it is a personal decision on how one chooses to heal their body and relieve their symptoms. It is a choice that we should all be able to embrace without the fear of local or federal prosecution. Cannabis is a healing plant that is waiting to welcome us all with its benefits.