Glaucoma Awareness Month
January is glaucoma awareness month. While most people have heard of glaucoma, which is the second leading cause of blindness, they may not be aware of other conditions associated with it. Some new evidence suggests that glaucoma may be an autoimmune disease. This comes as no surprise, since most ocular diseases have systemic origins. It also explains why some people have normal, or even low pressures in their eyes and still go on to develop glaucoma. People who have glaucoma and use eyedrops to control intraocular pressures, are also much more likely to have ocular surface disease – dry eye. Most glaucoma medications contain a preservative called benzalkoniuam chloride (BAK), which is very toxic to the cornea. Luckily, there are some options for preservative free glaucoma drops and even procedures that can potentially eliminate drops all together. Of course, living a healthy lifestyle and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress on the body is the best approach to keep healthy eyes and preserve vision.