Glaucoma Patients Can Qualify for Medical Marijuana Access in Ohio

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) includes glaucoma in the list of qualifying medical conditions under Ohio law. Patients can cite glaucoma as their primary reason for using medical cannabis products.

Medical marijuana is an alternative treatment method for patients with qualifying conditions. Only certified physicians can recommend medical marijuana products for treating patients with glaucoma. Glaucoma patients can use their doctor’s recommendation to obtain a medical marijuana card.

This card grants access to medical marijuana products in dispensaries across the state. Visit our Ohio page to start applying online.

Glaucoma in Ohio

Although there is no definitive data on OH residents with glaucoma, the Ohio population census projects that people aged 60 and over would outnumber people under 20 years old by the year 2020. Older people are more likely to develop glaucoma.

With more people at risk of getting the condition, preventive measures become necessary.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. An unhealthy optic nerve causes unhealthy vision. The damage usually results from an abnormal rise in eye pressure.

As a group of eye conditions, many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The optic nerve damage from glaucoma occurs gradually, so people may only realize they have the condition when it has developed into an advanced stage.

Basic Information About Glaucoma

Eye Disease Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among adults over 60 years old. Although older people may be more prone to glaucoma because of a deteriorated optic nerve, anyone can develop the condition at any age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that at least three million Americans live with glaucoma. Worldwide, this eye condition is the second leading cause of vision loss.

There is no cure for glaucoma. Since the condition involves a gradual deterioration of eye functions, preventive measures may be the best way to preserve healthy vision.

Types of Glaucoma

Common types of glaucoma include:

  • Chronic Glaucoma: Also known as primary open-angle glaucoma, this type is the most common. Chronic glaucoma occurs when the eye fails to drain fluid as well as it must. Older people may get this condition more than younger people because the eye’s drainage channel degrades over time. However, younger people are not immune to chronic glaucoma.
  • Acute Glaucoma: Also known as closed-angle or angle-closure glaucoma, this type occurs when the iris closes in on the eye’s drainage system. Acute glaucoma requires emergency care for a sudden rise in eye pressure.
  • Normal-Tension Glaucoma: This type of open-angle glaucoma occurs when no abnormal pressure rises in the eye. People may be sensitive to the average pressure level in their eyes.
  • Secondary Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma results from another eye condition, including eye trauma, uveitis inflammation, and eye tumors.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Optic nerve damage is the primary cause of glaucoma. This nerve deteriorates over time, making older people prone to visual impairment.

However, experts also associate the increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye with optic nerve damage. IOP may increase at any age.

The pressure comes from fluid buildup in the eye. We call this fluid aqueous humor. Aqueous humor should naturally drain out through the angles where the iris (the colored eye tissue with the pupil in the center) meets the cornea (the outermost eye lens). When the fluid does not drain properly, eye pressure increases.

Genes may also cause glaucoma. People may inherit glaucoma from their family members as scientists have identified genes related to different glaucoma forms.

Impact on Lifestyle of Glaucoma

Glaucoma Patient

As a vision-impairing condition, glaucoma affects several aspects of regular living. Patients with glaucoma may find driving more challenging than usual because of light sensitivity and glare problems. These sensitivity issues may also stand in the way of some activities requiring concentration like reading and playing sports.

Patients with glaucoma may also lose contrast sensitivity, which is a person’s natural ability to distinguish between light and dark.

This lower contrast sensitivity may prove to be a problem for people who rely on detecting subtle differences in patterns for a living, like visual artists.

Glaucoma Symptoms

Glaucoma symptoms depend on the type of condition a person may have:

  • Chronic Glaucoma Symptoms:

    • Blind Spots: Open-angle glaucoma signs include patchy blind spots in a person’s peripheral or central lines of sight. This vision impairment is frequent in both eyes.
    • Tunnel Vision: A tendency to only see objects in the center field of view may manifest in the advanced open-angle glaucoma stages.
  • Acute Glaucoma Symptoms:

    • Blurred vision
    • Eye pain
    • Eye redness
    • Seeing halos around lights
    • Severe headaches
    • Vomiting and nausea

Types of Glaucoma Treatments

Treating glaucoma may involve the following methods:

  • Prescription Eye Drops: This standard glaucoma treatment helps decrease eye pressure associated with the condition. Some eyedrop medicines contain substances that enter the bloodstream, making people experience side effects in other body parts unrelated to the eyes.
  • Oral Medicine: Eye doctors may prescribe oral medication when eye drops fail to lower eye pressure to healthy levels. These medicines may also cause side effects, including depression, finger and toe tingling, frequent urination, kidney stones, and upset stomachs.
  • Eye Surgery: Doctors may resort to minimally invasive methods of draining excess eye fluid to help treat glaucoma. Laser therapy is another procedure that uses light beams to open clogged channels in the eye.
  • Alternative Option: Studies have shown that medical marijuana can lower intraocular pressure. But doctors and researchers are still yet to determine if it can have a long-term effect on the condition.

Prevention of Glaucoma

Adopting healthier lifestyle choices may help promote eye health. Consider the following preventative methods:

  • Exercise Regularly: Light exercise like walking and jogging may help reduce IOP. Consult a physician to determine an appropriate exercise plan.
  • Get Regular Eye Exams: People related to glaucoma patients may want to get comprehensive eye examinations to detect glaucoma onset. Early detection helps prevent glaucoma from developing into advanced stages.
  • Wear Eye Protection: Protective gear helps avoid potential glaucoma-causing eye trauma.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card for Glaucoma

The state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program identifies glaucoma as a qualifying medical condition for medical marijuana treatment. Only certified physicians can recommend medical marijuana for glaucoma treatment.

TeleLeaf RX will help you learn more about how glaucoma patients can qualify for MMJ treatment in Ohio. Contact us Now!

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