Glaucoma in Sports

Glaucoma in Sports

What is glaucoma?

With the World Cup in full swing we think it’s the perfect time to show our patients that Glaucoma doesn’t have to stop you from living a healthy and active lifestyle. That being said, people with glaucoma should be careful with the type of exercises they undertake as the pressure in the eyes can increase in certain physical activities – such as certain yoga positions or any sport where the head is positioned lower than the body for any period of time. With that in mind, normal cardiovascular/aerobic activities shouldn’t cause any harm to a patient suffering from Glaucoma.

A perfect example of this is a Dutch footballer called Edgar Davids who suffered from Glaucoma in his right eye and underwent a surgery in 1999 while playing for Juventus. This led to him having to wear special protective eyewear for the rest of his football career to ensure no particulates entered his eye and caused further damage.

This never slowed him down – he continued to play for Juventus and later other clubs during a very successful career. Davids continued to play professional football until 2012 where he retired and became the player-manager of Barnet FC.

“One of the greatest and most recognisable players of his generation, Davids often stood out on the football field due to his dreadlocked hair and the protective goggles he wore due to glaucoma. A combative and energetic, yet creative and skilful midfielder, Davids was nicknamed “The Pitbull” by Louis van Gaal because of his marking ability, aggression, and hard tackling style of play. In 2004, he was one of the players chosen by Pelé to feature in the FIFA 100, his list of the world’s greatest living footballers.”



As you can see from the clips above, Glaucoma didn’t slow Davids down at all, this can be achieved if patients have regular eye tests and glaucoma is detected early – whilst a person newly diagnosed with this condition may feel like it’s the end of the world, Davids is proof that it’s absolutely not – he is after all an international footballing legend.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a very common eye condition in where the optic nerve that’s connecting the eye to the brain becomes damaged. The most common reason for this is a build-up of fluid in the front part of the eye which causes pressure to increase inside a person’s eye. If not treated early it can lead to loss of vision – this can affect anyone but is most common in adults and elderly over the age of 60. Very rarely, glaucoma can develop suddenly and cause extreme eye pain, headaches and blurred vision.

In most cases glaucoma takes many years to develop and takes at least a few years for any symptoms to show up, this is why eye tests are so important as they can detect any early development of glaucoma that still can be treated using eye drops and pills. If you notice blurred vision, or seeing rainbow-coloured circles around light you might be affected by this condition and are urged to visit your optician for an eye test as soon as possible!

What can I do if I think I’m suffering from Glaucoma?

If you think you’re suffering from Glaucoma we urge you to see your optician as soon as possible and if you wish to book a consultation with us, please click here.

There are many treatment options if you’ve been diagnosed with Glaucoma, however it all depends on the type of Glaucoma you’re suffering from. The most common types include:

Primary open angle glaucoma – requires eye drop treatment and laser treatment/surgery might be recommended
Primary angle closure glaucoma – requires instant hospital treatment with medication to lower pressure in eye/s followed by a laser surgery
Secondary Glaucoma – Depending on underlying cause any of the following can be offered – eye drops, laser treatment or surgery
Childhood Glaucoma – Requires surgery to correct the issue that led the eye to build up excess fluid/pressure.
If you’re worried you might be suffering from Glaucoma or you just want a peace of mind – you can book an online appointment here or you can phone our practice to speak to one of our highly trained staff to find out more…



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