Q: Can I (or should I) do physical activity?
A: Keeping your weight down and being physically fit helps to prevent health problems e.g. heart attacks and diabetes, and is important for your overall well-being. How pleasant to know, therefore, that these same measures also help you to protect yourself from glaucoma.
Q: Is sex safe for people with glaucoma?
A: From a glaucoma perspective, in a word yes - just don't hang head down for prolonged periods! Blood vessel health and thus visual health is also promoted by avoiding obesity, and remaining as physically fit as possible. Exercise to the limits of your comfort and ability is highly recommended. As mentioned above, a bonus is the added slight reduction in eye pressure exercise produces for some hours. The only exercises to be avoided are those in which your head is held below your waist - such a posture increases eye pressure. Yoga lovers take note.
Q: I have glaucoma, is it ok to fly in an aeroplane?
A: Generally, flying has no effect on someone with glaucoma, other than a temporary elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP). Following a trabeculectomy there is no increased risk with flying – this also applies to any laser procedure. The only issue with flying is if a procedure has resulted in the retention of air or gas in the eye, mainly pertaining to vitreoretinal surgery. Make sure to ask your ophthalmologist if you have any specific concerns.
Q: Is there anything I can eat to help with my glaucoma?
A: No specific foods are particularly good or bad for glaucoma treatment. Because optic nerves health depends in part on healthy blood vessels, food that helps to maintain blood vessel health is likely to promote visual health: reduced saturated fats and increased intake of vegetables and fruit are desirable. Red wine also helps to provide extra anti-oxidants and the alcohol content tends to reduce eye pressure, albeit temporarily. So a little red wine almost every day is not a bad idea. Your liver will not like too much however!
Q: Instead of conventional treatment, will any specific diet or complimentary medicine help my glaucoma?
A: There is no scientific evidence that any particular diet has a helpful (or unhelpful) effect on glaucoma and available evidence does not show a benefit of herb, vitamin and mineral supplements. Your eye health professional will recommend the best way to manage your glaucoma.
Q: Can coconut water alleviate glaucoma?
A: There is no scientific evidence that coconut water alleviates glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a chronic and incurable disease and there is no simple cure. However there are a number of proven, effective medical treatments that can slow the process down, help control it and there is long-term validated data available on this, which forms the basis for what can be offered to patients with this condition.
Coconut water should not be used as an alternative to conventional treatments. When treating glaucoma we aim to lower the pressure over the 24hr cycle, so a treatment that only lasts a few hours would be largely ineffective. It is important for patients to be monitored under the supervision of a medically trained eye specialist to minimize the chance of blindness. It is worth discussing with your treating doctor all medications you are taking, including natural remedies and supplements, as this could have an impact on the condition and its treatment.
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