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Glaucoma

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve causing vision loss.  Glaucoma can be broken down into two different types. Open-angle, which is the most common type, is caused when the drainage angle for fluid within the eye remains open.  This type of glaucoma happens over time and does not cause pain.  Peripheral vision will begin to decrease followed by central vision resulting in blindness if left untreated.  Closed-angle glaucoma can happen gradually or without warning. This type of glaucoma can cause severe pain, blurred vision, redness, dilated pupils and nausea. The risk factors include age, family history and prolonged steroid use.  Higher eye pressure has been shown to be connected to an increase in the tendency to develop glaucoma as well.  Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.

How can Medical Marijuana Help Patients with Glaucoma?

Several studies have shown smoking marijuana can result in a decrease in eye pressure.  This is precisely the purpose of prescription medications given to those who suffer from glaucoma.  This makes medical cannabis a wonderful adjunct to traditional medicine or useful in cases where patients cannot tolerate traditional treatment.  The studies have shown the decrease in eye pressure can last on average 3 to 4 hours.  Future studies are looking at the effectiveness of edible forms to reduce eye pressures for longer durations.  Even further down the road will be research to understand what elements of medical cannabis result in the reduction of eye pressure. 

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