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Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma

What Is Glaucoma?

A disease of the eye characterized by increased intraocular pressure, excavation, and atrophy of the optic nerve; produces defects in the field of vision and eventual blindness. Symptoms include gradual loss of peripheral vision, tunnel vision in the advanced stages, severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting, sudden onset of visual disturbance, blurred vision, halos around lights and reddening of the eye.

Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma

It is estimated that more than 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, a disease of the major nerve of vision called the optic nerve. Without diagnosis and treatment, glaucoma can progress to loss of central vision and blindness. Worldwide, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.

Effective treatment for glaucoma involves the use of drugs or surgical procedures that prevent progressive optic nerve damage. The only method of accomplishing this is by lowering intraocular pressure (IOP).

Though research findings on the effectiveness of marijuana for glaucoma have been mixed, medical cannabis (often referred to as medical weed or medical pot) may help alleviate IOP and in turn lessen effects of the disease. Studies supported by the National Eye Institute in the 1970s showed that medical marijuana (or its components), when taken orally or via inhalation, can lower intraocular pressure.  And in 2003, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released a position statement which said that "some derivatives of marijuana did result in lowering of IOP when administered orally, intravenously, or by smoking, but not when topically applied to the eye."

Because the possibility exists that marijuana may be useful in treating glaucoma, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Committee on Drugs maintains that a long-term clinical study is needed to test safety and effectiveness of marijuana. However, countless patients have found relief from glaucoma symptoms with cannabis, and many marijuana states have approved marijuana use for the treatment of glaucoma.

If you or someone you love is suffering from glaucoma and you’d like to find out if medical marijuana is the right treatment, MarijuanaDoctors.com can help. We can connect you with hundreds of quality marijuana doctors across the country in all legal marijuana states and ensure you are in compliance with your state laws. Book an appointment today and let us help improve your quality of life!

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This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals.  If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.


 

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