• Glaucoma and Medical Marijuana

Wellspring Fields
November 1, 2020

Medical marijuana is used to treat many conditions. From minor conditions to cancer, people are finding relief from symptoms and pain using medical marijuana.  Many people suffering from glaucoma, have been treating their symptoms with medical cannabis. 

What Is Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a disease that causes loss of vision. As fluid builds up in the front part of your eye, pressure increases and eventually damages the optic nerve.  Glaucoma can impair vision or eventually cause a person to go blind completely. It is known to be one of the leading causes of blindness with over 60 million diagnoses worldwide. In the United States alone, there are over three million people suffering from glaucoma. There are two known types of glaucoma. 

  • Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG): POAG, the most common form, is a slow progressive disorder that destroys cells in the eyes’ retina and degrades the optic nerve. This type of Glaucoma is typically painless and does not cause vision changes at first. 
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This form of Glaucoma is when the fluid in your eye – or aqueous—is unable to drain properly due to a narrow or closed drainage canal. This causes eye pressure quickly, also known as an acute attack, which can cause pain, blurred vision, and nausea. Most people with Angle-Closure develop it slowly and the symptoms do not appear until they suffer from an attack.

Although everyone is at risk for glaucoma, people over the age of 60 are more likely to develop the condition. 

Treatment Options

Currently, there is no known cure for glaucoma. If caught early enough, there are a few treatments that can help delay and help repress the symptoms of the condition. These treatments include: 

  • Medication: in the form of pills or eyedrops.
  • Surgery: to make a new opening for the fluid to escape.
  • Laser trabeculoplasty: to lightly burn and stretch the drainage holes.

In some severe cases, both medical and surgical treatments may fail to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) and prevent progression toward blindness. It is a hereditary condition, so those who are at higher risk should be seen by an ophthalmologist twice a year to check eye pressure.

Medical Marijuana as Treatment for Glaucoma

While Medical Cannabis does not cure Glaucoma, it can help people reduce and control the symptoms associated with it. Some traditional medications prescribed to these patients can come along with negative side effects as well, which can be subsided by using medical cannabis products. Although a great deal of research still needs to be done, some studies show the effectiveness of reducing IOP for a few hours.  It also may act as a neuroprotectant, which potentially inhibits the advancement of Glaucoma. Because glaucoma needs to be treated constantly, patients who are looking to help treat their symptoms should dose themselves every few hours to ensure consistent relief.

Symptom Relief 

Symptoms of glaucoma can include intense eye pain, anxiety, headaches, blurred vision, and severe nausea and vomiting. Medical cannabis has painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties that can significantly help relieve your symptoms.

There are numerous ways to medicate yourself with medical cannabis to treat your glaucoma symptoms. Currently, in Ohio, qualified patients can be approved for Oral, Sublingual, Inhalation, Rectal, and Topical use of cannabis. The most common ways to intake medical cannabis are:

  • Smoking: the most known method, often offers the quickest symptom relief. Dispensaries in Ohio have recently been granted the ability to sell smokable flower to qualified patients. 
  • Vaporizing: which is an inhalation method that brings relief almost immediately.
  • Capsules: allow patients to ingest the necessary dose easily and discretely while offering long-lasting relief. 
  • Tinctures and Oils: which can be administered under the tongue or added to your food and drinks.

Your Ohio Medical Cannabis doctor can discuss in further detail ways to alleviate your specific symptoms with you during your evaluation. Although everyone is different,  marijuana may help you find relief from your everyday symptoms without bringing on additional unwanted side-effects. 

Getting Your Card

In Ohio, people diagnosed with Glaucoma qualify for their medical cannabis card. If you are ready to take the next step towards relieving your symptoms, you can schedule an appointment with a Ohio Medical Cannabis Doctor. After being evaluated by one of the many Ohio state-certified physicians at DocMJ, you can apply for your state medical cannabis identification card.

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