It is important to pay attention to the symptoms and causes of illnesses and disabilities directly involving our eyes, such as glaucoma or high eye pressure. In the same likeness of keeping a balanced blood pressure for good health, it is also important to have a healthy amount of eye pressure.
Is Eye Pressure Normal?
Having high eye pressure can be a factor in getting glaucoma but does not always lead to glaucoma. It is normal to experience a fluctuation of eye pressure throughout the day according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation and when you encounter high eye pressure without any other symptoms or damages to the optic nerve, this is simply referred to as Ocular Hypertension; however, if you are experiencing any symptoms of high pressure it is important to get testing done to find out how likely you are to develop glaucoma.
According to the American Academy for Ophthalmology, measuring eye pressure is similar to measuring blood pressure. When eye pressure is being evaluated, the amount of eye fluid and the flow or drainage is being checked. Although all the causes have not yet been identified for high eye pressure, there are some factors that have been found to be associated.
Causes for High Pressure and Glaucoma
Restricted Drainage — A clear fluid (aqueous humor) continually flows from the front of the eye, an even amount is made to replenish the amount being drained. When this flow is restricted, fluid builds up in the eye creating an increase in pressure. When the pressure causes nerve damage, this leads to glaucoma.
Thick Cornea — If a patient is being checked for glaucoma or the doctor may perform a pachymetry test to check the thickness of his cornea. This actually has no effect to the actual fluid pressure in the eye, however, because of the thicker cornea, eye pressure readings could read as a false high.
Although glaucoma and vision loss cannot be reversed, if caught early enough, treatments can be done to reduce symptoms such as headaches and eye pain.
Eye drops — there is a plethora of prescription eye drops that the doctor would prescribe in the initial stages of high eye pressure or glaucoma. The main goal for these eye drops is to either reduce the amount of fluid made by the eye or improving liquid flow.
Oral Medications — in the case that eye drops don’t alleviate any pressure or discomfort, other medication may be prescribed. In a statement made on the Mayo Clinic website, the possible side effects of these medications include “frequent urination, tingling in the finger and toes, depression, stomach upset and kidney stones”.
Surgeries and Therapies — As a last resort, surgery or laser therapy is an option to improve the drainage of eye fluid, targeting the tubes that aqueous humor flow through.
Homeopathic and Lifestyle Tips
Some changes to your mundane routine can balance the amount of eye pressure experienced as well as promote all-around eye health and more.
Exercising — When doing cardio you are increasing blood flow through your body which includes the optic nerves and the retina. Because some eye diseases and other vision problems can come from high blood pressure, it is important to include cardio into your daily regimen.
Healthy Diet- Eating dark leafy greens, foods with omega-3 fatty acids or including more vitamins C, E and A into your diet will help with overall eye health.
Elevated Sleeping — As stated by The Mayo Clinic, sleeping with your head on a wedge pillow or on a stack of pillows at a 20-degree angle can reduce eye pressure during sleep.
Herbal supplements - Bilberry and Ginkgo are just a few of the herbal remedies that advertise their effects against glaucoma and eye pressure. This should not be used as an ultimate alternative to prescriptions or therapies directed by doctors.
Relaxation - One factor that provokes the rise in eye pressure can be stress. Meditation, yoga and other coping techniques can help decrease eye pressure.
Marijuana - Although is it not recommended by The American Academy of Ophthalmology, alternative medicine studies have shown that marijuana can reduce eye pressure for about 3 to 4 hours.
Decrease Caffeine Intake - It is common to hear that limiting the amount of caffeine for overall health. Studies have shown that consuming too much caffeine can cause high eye pressure.
If at any time you are experiencing discomfort or any symptoms mentioned, make an appointment with your doctor. To find out more about what precautions to take towards your eye health, contact us or read more on our website.