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March 6, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Mayo Clinic Staff
These tips may help you control high eye pressure or
promote eye health.
• Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help you
maintain your health, but it won't prevent glaucoma
from worsening. Several vitamins and nutrients are
important to eye health, including those found in dark,
leafy greens and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
• Exercise safely. Regular exercise may reduce eye
pressure in open-angle glaucoma. Talk to your doctor
about an appropriate exercise programme.
• Limit your caffeine. Drinking beverages with large
amounts of caffeine may increase your eye pressure.
• Sip fluids frequently. Drink only moderate amounts
of fluids at any given time during the course of a day.
Drinking a quart or more of any liquid within a short
time may temporarily increase eye pressure.
• Sleep with your head elevated. Using a wedge pillow
that keeps your head slightly raised, about 20 degrees,
has been shown to reduce intraocular eye pressure
while you sleep.
• Take prescribed medicine. Using your eyedrops or
other medications as prescribed can help you get the
best possible result from your treatment. Be sure to
use the drops exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, your
optic nerve damage could get even worse.
Because some of the eyedrops are absorbed into your
bloodstream, you may experience some side effects unre-
lated to your eyes. To minimise this absorption, close your
eyes for one to two minutes after putting the drops in. Or
press lightly at the corner of your eye near your nose to
close the tear duct for one or two minutes. Wipe off any
unused drops from your eyelid.
PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Glaucoma usually doesn't cause any noticeable symp-
toms until it has caused permanent damage. Ask your pri-
mary care doctor how often you need to see an eye
doctor (ophthalmologist) for a comprehensive eye exam
and follow that schedule.
If you have any new eye symptoms or vision problems,
make an appointment with your ophthalmologist or ask
your doctor for a referral.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your
What you can do
Before your appointment make a list of:
• Symptoms you've been having, and for how long.
• All medications, supplements and vitamins you take,
including the doses.
• Any eye problems you've had in the past, such as vi-
sion changes or eye discomfort
• Questions to ask your doctor
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
• Do I have signs of glaucoma?
• What tests do I need to confirm a diagnosis?
• What treatment approach do you recommend?
• What are the alternatives to the primary approach
• Do I need to follow any activity restrictions?
• What other self-care measures might help me?
• What is the long-term outlook in my case?
• How often do I need to return for follow-up visits?
• Do I need to see an additional specialist?
• I have these other health conditions. How can I best
manage them together?
WHAT TO EXPECT
FROM YOUR DOCTOR
A doctor who sees you for possible glaucoma is likely to
ask you a number of questions, such as:
• Have you had any eye discomfort or vision problems?
• Do you have any other signs or symptoms that con-
• Do you have any family history of glaucoma or other
• What eye screening tests have you had and when?
• Have you been diagnosed with any other medical con-
• Are you using any eyedrops?
• Are you using any vitamins or supplements?
Because chronic forms of glaucoma can destroy vision
before any signs or symptoms are apparent, be aware of
these risk factors:
• Having high internal eye pressure (intraocular pres-
• Being over age 60.
• Being black or Hispanic.
• Having a family history of the condition.
• Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes,
heart disease, high blood pressure and sickle cell ane-
• Having certain eye conditions, such as nearsighted-
• Having had an eye injury or certain types of eye sur-
• Early estrogen deficiency, such as can occur after re-
moval of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) before
• Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eyedrops,
for a long time.
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