Aging & Glaucoma: PreventionGlaucoma prevention should be a priority for everyone, but especially for the elderly, so keep these tips in mind. 

1. Get regular eye exams – The only way to help detect glaucoma in its early stages before irreversible damage occurs is to keep up with your eye care. Comprehensive eye exams every three-to-five years are recommended for everyone 40 years and older, but after age 60, these exams should happen every year.

2. Treat high eye pressure – Glaucoma eye drops can significantly reduce the risk that elevated eye pressure will turn into glaucoma. Only an eye care professional will be able to tell if you have ocular hypertension, so once again, stay on top of your eye care! An eye pressure reading of 21 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or higher generally signifies ocular hypertension.

3. Control weight & blood pressure – The insulin resistance that comes with obesity and high blood pressure has been linked to elevated ocular pressure, so make a healthy lifestyle a priority.

4. Protect your eyes – Serious eye injuries can trigger glaucoma, so wear eye protection if you are using power tools or playing high intensity sports (especially those in enclosed courts and/or involving rackets).

Researchers are always on the lookout for ways to treat and prevent diseases like glaucoma. For example, studies have shown that eye pressure in rats decreased when they were fed a diet enriched in omega-3 fatty acids, while the rats given a diet deficient in omega-3 fatty acids experienced increased eye pressure. So, it’s not proven, but it might be worth it to incorporate natural sources of omega-3, which include salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Fish oil supplements are a good alternative if you aren’t a fan of seafood.

When it comes to your eye health, we can’t stress enough how important it is to stay on top of your eye exams. Regular eye care is, by far, the best way to prevent glaucoma. So make friends with your eye care practitioner… and maybe take him or her out to a nice salmon dinner!

Have you been diagnosed or know someone who has been diagnosed with glaucoma and have tried different foods to help prevent it? If you have, please share what you’ve done with us in the comments below!