High Eye Pressure DangersEven at 28 years of age I worry about glaucoma because of an accident that happened to me in college. When I was 19 years old I was playing a game of doubles tennis. At some point I was playing near the net and my partner lobbed a slow floater to the other team. They ended up slamming it back to us and more specifically directly into my right eye.
As a result I was rushed to the emergency room as my eye ball filled with blood and turned black. I was completely blind in that eye at that point. Upon testing at the hospital my doctor told me that my eye pressure was a whopping 58 mm/hg and I was in danger of losing my eye sight forever because of the high eye pressure if it stayed that high for more that a few hours. I was given an immediate dose of drugs straight into my eye and after an hour my high eye pressure began falling back to the mid 30s.
High Eye Pressure Risk & Glaucoma
After three weeks of eye pressure above 20 mm/hg and complete blindness in my right eye my vision finally came back, the blackness faded away, and my pressure returned to normal singe digits. My doctor essentially told me that my 100% recovery was basically a miracle. He would have guessed that anyone with such elevated pressure for so long would surely lose all or part of their vision permanently. I was lucky and as a result I routinely get check ups to see if there is any long-term damage cropping up.
Glaucoma & Vision Loss ResearchNow there is new research which relates to my story which reiterates what my doctor told me about the dangers of high eye pressure:
”Roughly 4 million Americans have glaucoma, an eye condition in which fluid pressure builds up and damages the optic nerve, causing vision loss. Doctors often prescribe light aerobic exercise such as swimming to help keep eye pressure steady but according to new research from Australia, wearing goggles while swimming increases eye pressure by up to 13.4 mm/hg (normal eye pressure is around 4 mm/hg) and may increase the risk for glaucoma. Simply rubbing your eyes a lot can also lead to a spike in pressure and glaucoma risk. Because early symptoms of glaucoma are unnoticeable and eye damage is irreversible, it’s important to catch the disease before it leads to vision loss. Have your eyes examined every year or two.”Elevated Eye Pressure In Your Past?
If you have elevated eye pressure or have had a history of an eye injury in the past maybe these words should speak to you as they do to me. Get checked for damage routinely before you start losing your vision. Three weeks of blindness is no fun; I can’t imagine a lifetime of vision loss.
Also Related: Though exercise is treatment for glaucoma it is also, as we all know, a great treatment for a ton of other ailments. Read on to learn more about how exercise extends life.
The quote above is from the March 2009 issue of Best Life magazine.