Your Eyes on Weed: Temporary Glaucoma Relief

by in Medical Marijuana June 16, 2021

Glaucoma is an eye condition that typically affects people over the age of 60. It’s caused by a buildup of pressure over time that can damage an eye’s optic nerve, which is responsible for supplying your brain with visual information. As a result, glaucoma can cause vision loss or blindness if left untreated. 

There are a combination of treatments out there used to reduce a person’s eye pressure, including surgery, prescription eye drops, or oral medication. However, another treatment that is being explored more and more for glaucoma is weed. It temporarily, significantly lowers eye pressure in general, and can be a safer alternative for people who can’t tolerate the other treatment options. 

What Causes Glaucoma?

There is no clear cause for glaucoma. Some findings suggest that dilating eye drops, medications like corticosteroids, and high blood pressure may all contribute to the condition.   Unfortunately, the most common type of glaucoma is hereditary. That means if there is a history of the disease in your family members, you are about nine times more likely to get it. 

Additionally, adults over the age of 60 are six times more likely to develop the condition compared to younger people. While these facts may be disappointing, there is a plus side to it all. The risk of developing blindness has been nearly cut in half since the 80’s due to improvement in treatments. 

Marijuana Treatment and Relief

Part of those improved treatments includes medical marijuana for glaucoma. Glaucoma is one of the qualifying conditions to receive a medical marijuana card in some parts of the United States, and for good reason. Consuming marijuana can significantly lower a person’s eye pressure for short amounts of time, providing temporary relief to patients. 

Traditional Glaucoma Treatments

Weed for glaucoma symptoms is a relatively harmless alternative to the other options out there. As with any operation, there are many risks associated with the surgery performed on glaucoma patients. They have a very high success rate but can result in scarring, bleeding, or vision loss in extreme cases. 

Additionally, not everyone can handle the other medical treatments prescribed for this condition. There are tons of reasons why a person may not be able to take traditional medication, including pre-existing conditions, or allergies to active ingredients. Whatever the case may be, turning to weed for glaucoma relief may be a positive option for some patients. 

Risks and Side EffectsOptometrist Machinery

Medical marijuana for glaucoma comes with the same risk of side effects as marijuana use for any condition, like an altered sense of time, changes in mood, and difficulty with thinking and problem-solving.

Cannabis may only lower eye pressure for about 3-4 hours at a time, meaning it won’t provide all-day relief. Weed can also cause intoxication in users, inhibiting their abilities to drive vehicles or operate machinery, and can cause drowsiness or loss of judgment. 

Smoking anything, in general, is considered harmful for the lungs in the long term. If you have a history of lung disease or issues with breathing, this is not a recommended form of consuming marijuana.

Thankfully, there are great alternative delivery methods of weed glaucoma patients can look forward to. Tinctures and edibles can reduce eye pressure just as well as smoking does, and you can find them easily available. Feeling the effects from both takes much longer than smoking does, however, and may last longer too. 

What’s The Future of Marijuana Treatment?

Cannabis is one of the most powerful and dynamic plants on earth, but it will take time before we fully understand its potential. Patients are the ones who have been trying it out and discovering the benefits on their own, outside of scientific research. 

As we move forward and weed becomes legalized around the world, more studies will be conducted to understand all of the health benefits, including ones we have yet to uncover. Polls show that in America alone, more than half of the population believes marijuana should be completely legalized. 

Discover What Works For You

Some doctors are wary of medical marijuana for glaucoma treatment because they believe it is not a suitable, all-day treatment and it can impair users. However, if you are interested in using weed to lower your eye pressure, you should consider getting your own medical card. While we wait for the perceptions around weed for glaucoma to change and enter a more positive era, there is little harm in trying it out for yourself. 

In Arkansas, glaucoma is one of 18 qualifying conditions to receive a medical marijuana card, so it wouldn’t be difficult. For information on receiving medical marijuana card certification in Arkansas and Oklahoma, follow that link!

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