Are you at least 21 years of age or hold a valid medical marijuana card?

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Medical Marijuana for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is diagnosed when extremely high eye pressure causes optic nerve damage. For patients with glaucoma, marijuana use has not only been shown to help stop the damage caused by intraocular pressure (IOP), but it can also help reverse the deterioration of the optic nerve itself. Studies from as early as 1970 have shown that eye pressure may be lowered by consuming cannabis.

Considered to be the leading source of blindness in the world, glaucoma typically affects those 60 or older. In the US, there are approximately 200,000 cases of glaucoma diagnosed each year. While the cause of glaucoma is unknown, there are a few factors that are usually attributed to glaucoma patients, including family history, age, increased eye pressure, and race.

The combination of medical marijuana with traditional glaucoma medication is widely accepted in the medical community as a positive and effective treatment method within states that allow patients to use medical marijuana. Most glaucoma is treated with topical medications -- such as eye drops -- but sometimes surgical procedures are required to slow down the progression of glaucoma. Medical marijuana can be used by patients who cannot tolerate typical glaucoma medications as well as in conjunction with other prescribed medications.

While the effects of marijuana only last so long, medical cannabis for glaucoma is used to help with the symptoms associated with glaucoma. There are two well-known types of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma.

The most common, primary open-angle glaucoma progresses slowly, the patient gradually begins to lose their vision, and there are usually minimal or no symptoms. It’s best to have regular eye doctor appointments to be aware of this condition and slow the progression.

On the other hand, closed-angle glaucoma requires medical attention immediately. A quick onset of symptoms such as eye pain and redness, extreme headache, blurred vision, halos around lights, and nausea that can lead to vomiting are associated with closed-angle glaucoma.

If a patient with glaucoma doesn't seek medical treatment, their condition can lead to blindness in one or both eyes. While glaucoma currently has no cure, the condition can be slowed, and proper treatment can manage the patient’s pain and prevent the stage of glaucoma from becoming worse.

Certain strains of cannabis for glaucoma are helpful in managing the symptoms associated with the nerve damage. Indica strains can help alleviate the pressure from headaches and help with difficulty sleeping. Sativa cannabis strains have properties that help ease symptoms such as pain, lower eye pressure, and eliminate nausea while also stimulating the appetite. Patients can also choose a hybrid strain at a dispensary to manage stress, stay calm, and ease pain and headaches.

As an Illinois patient with glaucoma, you qualify to apply for a medical marijuana card which allows you to obtain medical cannabis from any Illinois medical marijuana dispensary to treat your associated symptoms.

**Always seek professional and medical advice from your doctor before using medical marijuana for glaucoma. This is not medical advice for glaucoma patients.

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