Mar 31, 2016 5:36 AM

How can medical marijuana help with… GLAUCOMA?

Definition of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a general term for a group of ocular diseases that originate from increased fluid pressure inside the eyeball. High intraocular pressure may cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve, which lead to limitation of field of vision and eventual blindness. Two types of glaucoma are known: 'open-angle' and 'closed-angle'. In the first case, the disorder tends to progress slowly, and no symptoms may be detected until the condition is on a late stage. In case of the acute, or 'closed-angle' glaucoma, signs are sudden ТВ include severe eye pain, redness, nausea and even occasional leaks of eye fluid. This is a serious condition that should be treated as medical emergency. Either form of glaucoma can permanently damage vision in the affected eye, first by decreasing peripheral vision, then leading to tunnel and/or blurred vision, and finally, incurring total blindness if left untreated.

How can medical marijuana help?

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. Treatment in almost every case involves surgical procedures that are targeted on preventing further damage to the optical nerve. Such procedures, let alone their cost, are often hard to withstand and difficult to recover from. Although research on the effectiveness of medical marijuana for glaucoma patients does not have a long track record, there is evidence that cannabis can help people suffering from high blood pressure. Intraocular pressure is tied to overall body blood pressure, so medical marijuana would be suitable for lowering it, too. A study supported by the National Eye Institute suggests that components of medical marijuana, when taken orally or via inhalation, can decrease intraocular pressure. There is also clinical evidence on glaucoma patients who have chosen to use medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms, and were successfully living with their condition without eye surgeries. The majority of marijuana-legal states have also approved prescription of cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma.

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