How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma?
What is Glaucoma?
According to the AAO, glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye's optic nerve when fluid builds up around the front part of the eye creating high pressure. There are two main types of glaucoma with the first being open-angle, which is the most common form and accounts for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, 3 million Americans are currently living with glaucoma, yet only 50% of these individuals are aware of the fact that they have this condition.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the most common symptoms associated with this condition are:
Halos around lights
Redness of the eyes
How can Medical Marijuana help treat Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve becomes damaged in one way or another, often resulting in partial or total blindness. The optic nerve damage that takes place is usually due to intraocular pressure. Medical marijuana effectively reduces intraocular pressure, and therefore, has been deemed an effective treatment to alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma.
Currently, the only way to control glaucoma and prevent vision loss is to lower your IOP levels. Your ophthalmologist can treat glaucoma with medication, such as prescription eye drops, or surgery, depending on the type of glaucoma and how severe it is.
While marijuana is effective at reducing intraocular pressure, it only does so for a short period of time (roughly 4 hours). There are new products that can provide all of the medicinal benefits of the drug, without the associated ‘high’.These new products make extensive use of the compound found in marijuana known as CBD, which isn’t psychoactive. Without the “high” medical marijuana can be used throughout the day without interfering with your normal daily activities.
Even though the effects of a single-dose may be short-lived, this does not delegitimize marijuana’s effectiveness at improving quality of life for patients with glaucoma. In addition to providing a nearly instant reduction in intraocular pressure, medical marijuana can provide relief from other symptoms of the disease including nausea, pain, and headaches.
If you or someone you love suffers from glaucoma, you do qualify for medical marijuana treatment. Call us today to learn more and to book your appointment!