Living With Glaucoma

If your vision begins to change:

Some people with glaucoma have "low vision." Low vision means there may be problems doing daily, routine things even if using corrective lenses. With glaucoma, this can include loss of contrast sensitivity (the ability to see shades of the same color), problems with glare, light sensitivity, and reduced visual acuity (the ability to see fine details). A variety of products and resources are available to help people who have low vision. Examples include magnifiers, colored lenses, and computer text-enlargers.

Working with your Doctors:

As a newly diagnosed person with glaucoma, you may need to have your eye pressure checked every week or month until it is under control. Even when your eye pressure is at a safe level, you may need to see your doctor several times a year for check-ups.

It is important that your doctor listens and responds to your concerns and questions, is willing to explain your treatment options, and is availably for calls and check-ups. If you do not feel confident and comfortable with your doctor, remember, you always have the right to seek a second opinion.

What you can do to manage your glaucoma?:

Know and keep track of your medications

  • It may take some time to find the right medication for you. Some medications may cause you to experience strong side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor about any side effects that you may experience once you have started your medication. the intensity of your side effects may mean you need a different type of medication.
  • Make your medications part of your daily routine, perhaps by taking them when you get up, at mealtimes, and/or at bedtime. Use an alarm watch to remind you when to take your medication.
  • If you forget to take your prescribed medication, take your medication when you remember, then get back on your regular schedule.
  • Get an extra supply of medication in case you misplace a bottle of eye drops or pills. Take an extra prescription along with you on trips away from home.
  • Find out about possible side effects. This will take some of the mystery out of your medication routine. But remember, if your side effects are severe, the medication may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor about any side effects.
  • It's important that you tell everyone on your healthcare team -- including your family doctor and any other specialists -- that you have glaucoma and what medications you are taking. This will help them in prescribing treatments that won't interfere with your glaucoma medications. Be especially careful about using any medication that contains cortisone.
  • Let your doctor know if, for ant reason, your medications are not working for you, or if your daily routine has changed. Your doctor maybe able to solve such problems by changing the type or timing of your medications.
  • Report any changes to your doctor, especially eye irritation, watering, blurring or scratchiness, unusual discharge in the corner of your eye, temporarily cloudy vision, or rainbows around lights at night.

Stay organized:

  • Keep a record of each medication you are taking. Write down the name, the dosage, an the number of times it should be taken each day. Keep it in your purse or wallet. This reminder can help you remember how often to use your medications.
  • Schedule your next check-up before you leave the doctors office, and put your appointment on your calendar.
  • Go for a check-up before you go on a long trip or start a long-term demanding project.
  • Write down any questions you have about your eyes, vision, or medications before you see your doctor. During your check-up, bring this list of questions, and write down your doctors answers. That way, you won't have to call in later or wonder about your answered questions until your next check-up.

Your life style counts:

  • Try it keep your eyes clear and free of irritants. Women might want to be careful about eye cosmetics, by using non-allergenic brands and by replacing them often.
  • Don't rub your eyes, even though some glaucoma medications might make them fell itchy or blurry.
  • If you have had eye surgery , it's a good idea to wear goggles when swimming and protective glasses when doing yard work or when playing contact sports.
  • Take care of the rest of your body. Keeping in good general health is just as important as taking care of your eyes.
  • Eating healthy, getting enough exercise. not smoking, not ingesting too much caffeine, and staying at a healthy weight are important. Be sure to check with your doctor before you start any strenuous exercise program.
  • Space out your fluid intake. This will help prevent fluid retention.
  • Lower your salt intake to prevent fluid retention.
  • Try to reduce the day-to-day stress in your life. Be sure to make time for fun and relaxation.

Teach your friends and family:

As a glaucoma patient, you have the chance to teach your friends and relatives about this disease. Many people are unaware of the importance of eye check-ups and do not know that individuals with glaucoma may have some symptoms. You can help protect their eye health by encouraging them to have their eye pressure and optic nerves checked regularly.