July 01, 2014
1 min read

AAO reiterates cannabis not recommended for glaucoma treatment

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The American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding ophthalmologists and the public that it does not recommend marijuana or other cannabis products for the treatment of glaucoma, according to a press release.

The Academy also reported that, based on an analysis by the National Eye Institute and the Institute of Medicine, it has found no scientific evidence proving the validity of marijuana as an effective long-term treatment for glaucoma compared with available prescription medications and surgical methods.

“Ophthalmologists are focused on providing treatments that will give patients the very best results,” Gregory L. Skuta, MD, a glaucoma specialist and president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said in the press release. “For glaucoma, this means recommending therapies that have been proven to safely alter the course of disease over a long-term period, such as medicated eye drops or surgery. No research exists to date that demonstrates that marijuana can deliver this level of efficacy.”

The Academy also reminds the health care community that marijuana may have adverse events that could worsen eye health. Patients who smoke marijuana may experience low blood pressure, resulting in vision loss, and increase their risk for cancer and eye diseases, according to the press release.