Managing Glaucoma

Your Medications

The importance of knowing and keeping track of your medications can't be overstated. Make your medications part of your daily routine, perhaps by taking them when you get up, at mealtimes, and/or bedtime. Use an alarm watch to remind you of 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.

Be aware of side effects

It may take some time to find the medication that is right for your. Some medications may cause you to experience strong side effects. Be sure to tell us about any side effects you experience once you have started your medication. The intensity of your side effects may mean that you need a different type of medication.

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.

Report changes in your condition

If for any reason your medications are not working for you, or if your daily routine has changed, let us know. We may be able to solve such problems by changing the type or timing of your medications.

Report any changes in your condition, especially eye irritation, watering, blurring or scratchiness, unusual discharge in the corner of your eye, temporarily clouded vision, continual headache, flashes of light or floating objects in the field of vision, or rainbows around lights at night.

Your Emotions

Using your medications regularly, noticing unusual changes in your eyes, and taking care of yourself are practical, sensible ways in which you can help manage the physical side of glaucoma. But glaucoma has another side – the emotional and psychological aspects of having a chronic, sight-threatening health condition. When you are first diagnosed with glaucoma you may experience worry, fear, or helplessness. It is not uncommon for glaucoma patients to experience depression or lethargy.

Take the time to learn about the disease and you’ll find that living with glaucoma does not mean you have to make drastic life changes. There are many steps you can take to help manage this disease, and even if you lose some of your vision, you can work with low vision rehabilitation counselors in order to learn how to continue leading an active life with low vision.

Talk to someone

Managing a chronic disease may be difficult both physically and emotionally. Don’t hesitate to share your feelings with your loved ones. Once they understand what you are feeling, it will be easier for them to be supportive of you, and help you meet any special needs you may have. You do not have to go through your adjustment period alone.

You may also want to talk with other people who have glaucoma. Every case of glaucoma is slightly different, so comparing treatment programs with another person could be misleading. But sharing ideas and feelings about living with a chronic health condition can be useful and comforting.

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 no symptoms. You can help protect their eye health by encouraging them to have their eye pressure and optic nerves checked regularly.

*Information courtesy of Glaucoma Research Foundation

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Glaucoma Institute of Austin

Types of Glaucoma

Diagnosis & Treatment

Glaucoma FAQ

Risk Factors

Managing Glaucoma