Glaucoma is among the leading causes of blindness in the world. If you have glaucoma but can’t tolerate daily eye drops to relieve your intraocular pressure (IOP), you could benefit from medical cannabis. The expert medical team at Coastal Wellness Centers, led by Joseph Rosado, MD, Kathryne Gunn, DO, and Alyn L. Benezette, DO, helps women and men in Ormond Beach and DeLand, Florida, and Volusia County maintain a healthy IOP with medical cannabis. To find out if you’re eligible for medical cannabis for glaucoma, contact the friendly Coastal Wellness Centers team today by phone or online form.
Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure builds up inside your eye. The pressure damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for sending images to your brain so you can see. Without treatment, glaucoma causes severe vision problems and even blindness within a few years.
You can’t repair vision damage already caused by glaucoma, but by controlling your IOP, you can stop glaucoma from progressing and preserve your sight.
The most common type of glaucoma — open-angle glaucoma — is usually treated with medications that drain the excess aqueous fluid in your eye and decrease the production of the fluid in the first place. You may need to use 2-3 different eye drops every day to adequately control your IOP. Eye drop medications include:
If you have a rare type of glaucoma called acute angle-closure glaucoma that can cause sudden blindness, your doctor recommends laser surgery that cuts a small hole in your iris so the fluid can drain. Though you won’t need any other treatments for awhile, you need to see your ophthalmologist regularly to ensure the glaucoma doesn’t return.
If you don’t respond to medications, you have trouble dealing with the side effects, or you aren’t able to take the daily drops, your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery for open-angle glaucoma, too. Some surgeries that may help include:
All surgeries and medications have risks. Either as an adjunct to your therapy or as a single therapy, your ophthalmologist may also recommend medical cannabis.
Your eyes contain endocannabinoid receptors that respond to the more than 400 natural chemicals in the cannabis (i.e., marijuana) plant. Medical cannabis lowers IOP by about 25% for 3-4 hours in up to 65% of patients who use it for glaucoma. Because medical cannabis is oil-based, you take it orally rather than using eye drops.
If you opt for all-natural, medical cannabis to help control your IOP, our doctors regularly monitor your eye pressure to be sure the treatment is working.
To find out if you qualify for medical cannabis treatment for your glaucoma, contact the friendly team at Coastal Wellness Centers today. Use the online form or call the helpful office staff.