Glaucoma Management

Living with Glaucoma

You must work with your eye doctor if you have glaucoma. Eye doctors know how to treat glaucoma, but they have to work with you to find the best way to treat your disease.

  • Remember to take notes. Write down your questions so you can make the most of your eye doctor visits.
  • Explain to your eye doctor how the medicines you are taking affect you.
  • Tell all of your other doctors about your eye medicines and all other drugs you're taking.
  • Read more about glaucoma and how to live with it.
  • Tell the eye doctor about any changes in your physical condition, any changes in your medicine or any side effects.

Getting More Involved in Your Treatment

Barbara A. Smythe, M.D.Even if surgery or drugs lower pressure in your eye, it's still possible to lose vision. Therefore, you and your doctor must carefully monitor the disease.

Since you will be visiting your eye doctor regularly, usually every three months, take time and care in choosing a person with whom you are comfortable. Your doctor should be board certified and have advanced training in the specialty field. Your doctor should understand that your questions and concerns are important. A doctor who is willing to work with you, listen to your concerns and provide the best treatment, plays a large part in your success against glaucoma.

You have to help save your sight! You may need medicines every day for the rest of your life. Find support and encouragement from your family, friends and others. Sometimes it helps to talk to people who have experienced the same thing. It can help you to discuss side effects, share ways to remember your medicines and celebrate getting your glaucoma under control.

Unfortunately, there are a few people whose eyesight will continue to get worse, despite doing all the right things to control their glaucoma. Doctors aren't sure why this happens, but research in this area continues.

The future holds great promise for treating glaucoma. New medicines are being developed. Other treatments may soon become available. In the meantime, take heart in knowing that you're doing everything possible to treat your glaucoma successfully. The doctor/patient team approach, support from others and promising scientific discoveries will help you look forward to a bright future.

Questions for your Eye Doctor

Barbara A. Smythe, M.D.You will have many questions as your doctor diagnoses and treats your glaucoma. It's helpful to keep a list of these questions, especially if they come to mind in between your eye appointments. Write your questions down and bring the list with you, then discuss them with your doctor. Here are some questions many people have:

  • What do these medicines do?
  • How much will they cost? Will my insurance help pay for them? These may be questions for your insurance company, not your doctor.
  • What are the possible side effects of my medicines?
  • Can I do anything to lower the chance of side effects or reduce the effects?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Will I need surgery? What are the benefits and drawbacks of laser surgery? Of glaucoma surgery?
  • What will my vision be like after surgery?
  • How long will recovery take? How will I need to change my usual activities? Will I be able to drive? Go to work?

Share What You've Learned

Sharing what you've teamed with other people who have glaucoma may help you cope with this chronic eye disease.

NEXT: Laser Treatment and Surgery

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