An Overview of Medical Marijuana Usage in the Treatment of Glaucoma
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma does not exist as one disease, rather, it is a group of threatening eye infections with little side effects at the start of the infection.
Glaucoma is primarily connected to higher-than-ordinary pressure inside the eye, which is a condition called visual hypertension. However, it may also happen when intraocular pressure (IOP) is at an ordinary level. In the event that it is left untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma will cause fringe vision misfortune and can even cause vision loss as time goes on.
As indicated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the most widely recognized kind of glaucoma, called essential open-edge glaucoma, affects around 2.2 million individuals in the United States alone, and that number is expected to increase to 3.3 million by 2020. Because most instances of glaucoma have few or no early side effects, about 50% of Americans with glaucoma are unaware of their situation. This is a dangerous statistic as glaucoma is the second-most responsible reason for lack of sight in the U.S., and around the world.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma symptoms are categorized into four different types as explained below:
1- Chronic glaucoma:
This type of glaucoma has unidentifiable symptoms; they can stay unnoticed for a long period. Individuals frequently remain unaware that their sight is being harmed in light of the fact that the first piece of the eye to be influenced involves the external field of vision. Vision is lost from the external edge of the eye, gradually moving more inwards and reaching towards the middle.
Changes in vision are frequently connected to older age, which is the main reason that it is so imperative to have your eyes checked consistently. Regular eye tests are necessary for healthy vision and early diagnosis.
2- Acute angle-closure glaucoma:
The side effects of acute angle-closure glaucoma include the following:
• Intense pain
• Redness of the eye
• Delicate areas around the eye
• Dimmer vision
• Rapid loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Because of these side effects, some individuals might also feel drained and lethargic. Symptoms of intense glaucoma are not consistent; they can continue for one or two hours before vanishing.
3- Secondary glaucoma:
This type of glaucoma is brought on by different conditions, such as irritation of the centre layer of the eye. It can also be induced by eye wounds and certain medicines, such as solutions or surgeries.
The indications of glaucoma may be mistaken for the manifestations of another condition. For instance, uveitis regularly causes agonizing pain and migraines. On the other hand, the symptoms of this type of glaucoma may appear alongside, such as hazy vision.
4- Developmental glaucoma:
Perceiving the manifestations of developmental glaucoma can be troublesome because of the adolescent age of the child. Your child may be indicating some of the symptoms mentioned below:
• Expansive eyes (due to eye pressure causing expansion)
• Tenderness to light (photophobia)
• Reddish appearance of the eyes
• Watery eyes
If you sense even the slightest indication of any of the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately consult your GP and seek guidance on treatment options.
How is Eye Pressure Related to Glaucoma?
Eye pressure is one of the triggers of this disease, so let us discuss how exactly it influences the chances of glaucoma. A few studies have demonstrated that eye pressure is a significant source of harm for the optic nerve. In the front of the eye, there is a chamber called the anterior chamber. A transparent liquid streams persistently through the chamber and supports the surrounding tissues. The liquid leaves the chamber at the open edge where the cornea meets the iris. When the liquid achieves the best angle, it moves through a springy meshwork and leaves the eye.
In open-angle glaucoma, despite the fact that the seepage point is open, the liquid passes too slowly through the meshwork channel. Because the liquid develops, the pressure inside the eye climbs to a level that may harm the optic nerve. At the point when the optic nerve is harmed from the expanded pressure, open-edge glaucoma-and vision misfortune may occur. That is the reason why controlling pressure inside the eye is imperative for your health.
The treatment for Glaucoma is carried out in many medically proven ways, ranging from tablets to surgery. Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, medication, laser surgery, conventional surgery, or even a combination of these techniques. The objective of any treatment is to avoid vision loss, as this may be irreversible. Luckily, glaucoma can be controlled if it is caught early; with restorative techniques and surgical treatment, many people suffering from glaucoma will not lose their sight.
Taking regular medication is vital to anticipating vision-debilitating harm. This is the primary reason why it is critical for you to examine symptoms with your specialist. While each medication has some potential drawbacks, it is critical to note that numerous patients encounter no reactions whatsoever. Still, there are many alternative treatments, some of which are outlined below:
It is vital to take your solutions frequently and accurately, in the event that you are to control your eye pressure. Since eye drops assimilate into the circulation system, inform your specialist about all prescriptions that you take.
As some medications may be risky when blended with different drugs, close your eye for one to two minutes in the wake of regulating the drops – this will minimize retention into the circulation system and augment the measure of medication ingested in the eye. Also press your pointer delicately against the second rate nasal corner of your eyelid to close the tear duct that empties into the nose. While just about all eye drops may cause an uncomfortable stinging sensation at the start, the uneasiness should be gone within a few seconds or minutes at most.
When eye drops fail to sufficiently control IOP, pills are endorsed. These pills, which have more systemic reactions than drops, additionally serve to turn down the eye’s fixture and reduce the generation of liquid. They are normally taken two – four times every day.
Laser surgery has become progressively famous as a moderate venture in the middle of medications and conventional surgery; however, the long-haul achievement rates are constantly changing.
The most well-known surgery performed for open-edge glaucoma is called trabeculoplasty. This method takes around 10 to 15 minutes, is effortless, and can be performed in either a specialist’s office or an outpatient office.
The laser bar is centred upon the eye’s channel. Contrary to popular belief, the laser does not burn a gap into the eye. Rather, the eye’s waste framework is changed in an exceptionally inconspicuous way so that fluid has the capacity to pass out of the channel more effectively, thus reducing the IOP.
How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma
One of the usually examined back-up plans for the treatment of glaucoma is smoking medicinal marijuana, in light of the fact that smoking cannabis does bring down the eye pressure.
Less frequently acknowledged is the fact that the mere impact of marijuana on eye pressure lasts just three to four hours, implying that to bring down the eye pressure all day and all night , one would need to smoke it six to eight times each day.
The thought that marijuana can be useful in treating glaucoma dates to the 1970s. Studies also demonstrated that smoking cannabis brought down the IOP of individuals with glaucoma.