Medical Marijuana as Treatment for Glaucoma
Many people suffering from glaucoma, an optic nerve condition that can lead to loss of vision or blindness, have been treating their symptoms with medical marijuana (MMJ). In 2016 glaucoma was one of the many approved conditions in Florida that allow a person to qualify for their medical marijuana recommendation. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma and are interested in obtaining medical marijuana, schedule an appointment with one of our Florida MMJ doctors to see if it is right for you. Complete our online eligibility survey to see if you pre-qualify for your recommendation in just a few minutes.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma, as defined by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is a disease that causes loss of vision. It causes fluid to build up in the front part of your eye which can result in increased pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve.  This can impair vision or cause a person to go blind completely. Glaucoma is recognized as one of the leading causes of blindness, and in the United States alone there are over three million people who suffer from it.
There are two types of Glaucoma –Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Angle-Closure Glaucoma. 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 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 to quickly rise, 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.
In most cases, Glaucoma does not appear until after the age of 60; however, some young patients and newborns can suffer from it as well.
Current Glaucoma Treatment Options
Glaucoma is not curable, but if caught early on, immediate treatment for POAG can delay the progression of the disease. Depending on the condition. treatments can include medication in the form of pills or eyedrops, surgery to make a new opening for the fluid to escape, or laser trabeculoplasty to lightly burn and stretch the drainage holes.
A number of topical prescription medications are also available for use in treatment. These eye drops reduce pressure in the eye by either decreasing fluid production or increasing the fluid outflow.
In severe cases of glaucoma, 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 Marijuana is no cure for Glaucoma, it can help people control the symptoms associated with it. Traditional medications prescribed to these patients can come along with negative side effects as well, which can be subsided by using medical marijuana products.
Though research is not conclusive on the extent of medical marijuana’s effect on glaucoma, some studies show it can reduce IOP for up to four hours. It also may act as a neuroprotectant, which potentially inhibits the advancement of Glaucoma. Patients who are looking to help treat their symptoms from glaucoma should dose themselves every few hours to ensure consistent relief.
Relieving Glaucoma Symptoms with Medical Marijuana
Symptoms of glaucoma include but are not limited to intense eye pain, anxiety, headaches, blurred vision, and severe nausea and vomiting. Medical marijuana has painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties that can go a long way toward relieving your symptoms.
There are many ways to medicate yourself with medical marijuana to treat your glaucoma symptoms. Currently, in Florida, qualified patients can be approved for Oral, Sublingual, Inhalation, Rectal, and Topical use of marijuana. The most common ways to intake medical marijuana are:
- Vaporizing, or vaping, which is an inhalation method that brings relief almost immediately.
- Tinctures and sublingual oils, which can be administered under the tongue or added to your food and drinks.
- Smoking, the most known method, often offers the quickest symptom relief. Dispensaries in Florida have recently been granted the ability to sell smokable flower to qualified patients.
- Capsules allow patients to ingest the necessary dose easily and discretely while offering long-lasting relief.
Medical marijuana is a great alternative if you have tried the traditional glaucoma treatments and you feel as if you need something more. It can help you find relief from your everyday symptoms without bringing on any additional unwanted side-effects.
Your Florida Medical Marijuana doctor can discuss in further detail ways to alleviate adverse symptoms with you during your evaluation.
How to get Medical Marijuana for Glaucoma
In the state of Florida, people diagnosed with glaucoma qualify for their medical marijuana recommendation. If you are ready to take the next step towards bettering your health, you can schedule an appointment with one of our Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors. After being evaluated by one of the many Florida state-certified physicians at DocMJ, you can apply for your state medical marijuana identification card.
After being approved by the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), you can begin purchasing products from a state-approved Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) and begin getting the symptom relief that you deserve.
If you are interested in taking the first step to alleviate your glaucoma symptoms, take our easy online eligibility survey today!