Glaucoma is a condition which causes pressure to build up inside your eye. The pressure damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for sending images to your brain so you can see. Without treatment, glaucoma may cause severe vision problems and even blindness within a few years. While you can’t repair vision damage already caused by glaucoma, you can stop glaucoma from progressing and preserve your sight by controlling your IOP.
The most common type of glaucoma—open-angle glaucoma—is usually treated with medications that drain the excess aqueous fluid from your eye and decrease the production of the fluid. Eye drop medications include:
A rare type of glaucoma, called acute angle-closure glaucoma, can cause sudden blindness. This is often treated with laser surgery that cuts a small hole in the iris so the fluid can drain.
If you are unresponsive to medications, you have trouble dealing with the side effects, or are unable to take the daily drops, your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery for open-angle glaucoma, too. Some surgeries that might help include:
Laser trabeculoplasty, which burns areas where fluid drains to improve outflow
Trabeculectomy, which reates a new channel for fluid drainage
Surgical implants, which drain fluid from the eye to improve IOP
As an adjunct to your therapy, or as a single therapy, your ophthalmologist may also recommend medical cannabis.
Your eyes contain endocannabinoid receptors that respond to the more than 400 natural chemicals in the cannabis plant. Medical cannabis lowers IOP by about 25% for 3-4 hours in up to 65% of patients. Because medical cannabis is oil-based, you take it orally rather than applying eye drops.
To find out if you qualify for medical cannabis treatment for glaucoma, contact Coastal Wellness Centers today.