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Does Marijuana Help Treat Glaucoma or Other Eye Conditions?

Views: 408     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-11-06      Origin: Site

Medical marijuana is used to treat various diseases including glaucoma. In states such as Colorado and Washington, the sale and possession of marijuana is legal. Using it to treat glaucoma has become easier than ever, and many people can use it even without consulting an ophthalmologist. But does it really work?


The optic nerve of glaucoma patients is damaged over time, and lateral vision will decline, which sometimes leads to blindness. One of the reasons for damage to the optic nerve is that the excitation (intraocular pressure or "eye pressure") in the eye is higher than normal.


At present, the only way to control glaucoma and prevent vision loss is to reduce intraocular pressure. The ophthalmologist may recommend medications such as prescription eye drops or surgery to treat glaucoma, depending on the type and severity of the patient's glaucoma.


Medical Marijuana Treatment for Glaucoma

The idea that marijuana helps treat glaucoma can be traced back to the 1970s. Subsequent studies have shown that inhalation of marijuana can reduce the intraocular pressure of glaucoma patients. In response to this result, researchers have done a lot of supplementary studies to check whether marijuana or its active ingredient, a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, can be used to reduce intraocular pressure. The National Institute of Ophthalmology and the Federal National Institutes of Health supported this research.


Studies have found that after smoking marijuana or by taking or injecting its active ingredients, intraocular pressure is indeed reduced. However, it can only reduce intraocular pressure in a short time, about 3 to 4 hours.


The short maintenance time is a major disadvantage of using marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma. Because glaucoma needs treatment 24 hours a day, if you want to continue to reduce intraocular pressure, you need to smoke marijuana 6 to 8 times a day. Because marijuana can affect emotions, smoking too much will make people look like machines and will seriously damage people's health.


However, the effect of marijuana on human abilities is not the only side effect. Marijuana cigarettes contain hundreds of compounds that are harmful to the lungs. Studies have shown that regular use of marijuana, especially high-dose use of marijuana, can affect short-term memory and concentration.


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Since scientists know so much about glaucoma, they already know that intraocular pressure is not the only factor that damages the optic nerve. Recent research regards glaucoma as a neurological disease similar to Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. In addition, there is increasing evidence that reducing blood flow to the optic nerve may also harm glaucoma patients. Unfortunately, marijuana not only lowers intraocular pressure, it also lowers blood pressure throughout the body. Therefore, it may obstruct the blood flow to the optic nerve, effectively canceling its advantages of lowering intraocular pressure.


Scientists are still exploring whether the active ingredients in marijuana can treat glaucoma. However, this requires more research and will become a reality many years later.


Therefore, although marijuana can temporarily reduce your intraocular pressure, it is not recommended to be used to treat glaucoma. Prescription drugs and surgical treatments have been tested and proven to be effective treatments for this disease. On June 27, 2014, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reiterated that it is not recommended to use marijuana or other marijuana products to treat glaucoma.


One of the commonly used treatments for glaucoma is glaucoma drainage implantation. During the operation, the commonly used surgical devices are corneal forceps, corneal scissors, corneal cannula, eye speculum, ophthalmic forceps, etc. Please talk to your ophthalmologist to find the best glaucoma treatment plan for you.


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