Florida is a wealthy state in the southern United States, with an estimated population of more than 21 million people in 2019. The state has a flourishing healthcare industry. Because of its proactive governance, Florida authorized the use of medical cannabis as a treatment for several conditions.
Glaucoma is an infamous vision disorder characterized by a gradual deterioration of the optic nerve. The disease can ultimately lead to blindness or vision loss. Under the law, glaucoma sufferers can procure medical cannabis to treat their condition. However, if you want to use cannabis as a treatment, you should secure a Florida medical marijuana card first so you can buy from licensed dispensaries in the state.
How is Glaucoma Developed?
According to experts, glaucoma occurs due to the buildup of aqueous humor or the fluid inside your eyes. The accumulation occurs when the mesh-like channel, where it flows outside your eyes, is blocked. The experts claimed that the main reason behind the blockade is hereditary, or you may inherit it from your parents.
Other causes or risk factors of glaucoma include serious eye infections, eye injuries, eye inflammation, and blocked eye blood vessels. The disease can also be due to complications of other medical conditions, like diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and cardiovascular diseases.
According to glaucoma specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz of The Eye Institute of West Florida, the condition is the second major cause of blindness worldwide.
How Medical Cannabis Can Help Treat Glaucoma
Based on studies, intraocular pressure (IOP) plays a crucial role in the emergence and advancement of glaucoma. Because of this, ophthalmologists focused their prescribed treatments in preventing IOP. Research on cannabis showed that the plant’s chemicals called cannabinoids could reduce IOP with neuroprotective effects.
Also, the majority of ophthalmologists support the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for late-stage glaucoma. It is because of the influence of cannabis in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS controls several bodily functions like immune response, neuroprotection, inflammation, and pain modulation.
Ophthalmologist Andrew Bainnson claimed that medical cannabis could help alleviate the accompanying symptoms of late-stage glaucomas, such as nausea and pain. Also, several studies showed the effectiveness of the cannabinoid agonists, anandamide and WIN 55212-2, and some cannabinoids as topical treatments of glaucoma. Because of these developments, medical marijuana-based medications for glaucoma are becoming a reality.
As a glaucoma patient, your Florida medical marijuana card serves as your license in procuring a sufficient supply of medical cannabis to manage your disease.
Natural Remedies for Glaucoma
There are several recommended lifestyle and natural strategies to help maintain the health of your eyes and treat your glaucoma. Here are some of them:
- Consume foods rich in Vitamin C, selenium, zinc, beta-carotene, and tocopherol. These foods include fruits and dark green leafy vegetables.
- Use herbal remedies, like bilberry, green tea extracts, and Ginkgo biloba.
- Perform regular exercises to reduce your IOP, particularly in open-angle glaucoma. Consult with your physician regarding the best exercise program for your condition.
- Drink moderate amounts of water to avoid increased IOP.
- Practice stress-relieving activities, like mindfulness meditation and yoga.
- Sleep with your head slightly elevated to lessen IOP.
Glaucoma is a disease that should be taken seriously as it can steal your vision permanently. To determine what treatment is best for you, experiment on the above remedies. If you find medical marijuana useful, secure a Florida medical marijuana card to procure it legally.