Do Lifestyle Choices Affect Glaucoma?

People today are increasingly interested in how lifestyle choices affect health. Patients with glaucoma want to help themselves and save their sight in any way they can beyond medications and surgery.

The traditional view has been that lifestyle choices do not play a role in glaucoma, but several studies show that lifestyle factors can influence eye pressure, which is a major risk factor for glaucoma. There is little data, however, on whether these factors impact the development (or worsening) of glaucoma.

For example, factors that increase eye pressure do not necessarily increase the risk of glaucoma and factors that lower eye pressure may not protect one from developing glaucoma. Sustained lowering of eye pressure is the most important part of glaucoma treatment, and lifestyle changes are only complementary.

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