Glaucoma and marijuana

glaucoma pic


I’ve told you recently that I have been getting loads of genetic information from 23andme.com. Among other things, I have learned that I have a significantly enhanced chance of developing something called “exfoliative glaucoma.”

 

 

I have read several descriptions of this interesting condition. As I understand it, little particles of dead tissues (often described as “dandruff-like”) begin to accumulate within the eyeball. (Actually they accumulate within the “trabecular network,” but let’s not get too technical.) At any rate, your eyeballs turn into miniature snowflake paperweights, full of inert whitish material. This increases the fluid pressure within your eyeballs, and – presto! – glaucoma.

 

 

The average chance for developing this charming disease is 0.7 percent. Mine is 2.2 percent. Not huge, but more than triple the average.

 

 

This is interesting. There’s no glaucoma in my family that I know of, but we seem to be capable of generating nasty little mutations of our own, so I’m sure the folks at 23andMe.com are not making this stuff up.

 

 

So what’s to be done?

 

 

Glaucoma is treatable. There are eyedrops, and laser surgery, and other things.

 

 

Also there is always medical marijuana.

 

 

One of the first uses of medical marijuana was to reduce the fluid pressure in the eyeballs of glaucoma patients. It’s not the most highly-recommended treatment – damn medical research! – but it’s still used in many cases.

 

 

And medical marijuana gives you the nicest giggly feeling, and the most tremendous appetite.

 

 

Ah well. There are much worse things than glaucoma.


 

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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

2 Responses to Glaucoma and marijuana

  1. starproms says:

    Hmm well I expect the optometrist checks your eyes regularly? I hope he/she doesn’t find that problem lurking. I also see floaters when I look into sunbeams.

    • I saw the ophthalmologist on Monday. I told him all the genetic stuff, and he took it very seriously, and checked me for that kind of glaucoma (there’s a definite hallmark of it), and I don’t have it now, but he noted it on my file for future reference, as it could develop at any time. He told me also, thank goodness, that floaters aren’t associated with this kind of glaucoma.

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