Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve deteriorates over time. There are various ways in which glaucoma can be treated, with eye drops often being the first choice. The decision of which treatment plan to use will depend upon the type of glaucoma you have.
If glaucoma sufferers don’t receive prompt treatment, vision loss can occur. Treatment will be unable to restore any vision loss but can prevent vision from deteriorating any further. Before starting eye glaucoma treatment, it is important you are well-informed about what the condition is and what to expect from your treatment.
What caused my glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs because of a build-up of pressure in the eye. In some cases, the eye’s drainage system becomes blocked, either by debris or parts of the eye shifting too close together. While it is unclear what causes the condition in many cases, age, family history, ethnicity, other eye conditions, and diabetes can increase your risk of developing it.
What are the risks and side effects of my treatment plan?
There is a range of glaucoma medications available. Eye drops can cause irritation, changes in eye color and eyelid skin, and blurred vision. Drops can also exacerbate circulatory and cardiac problems in patients already suffering from them.
Glaucoma surgery can cause short-term vision loss and cataracts, and laser treatment can sometimes cause a temporary increase in pressure in the eye.
How will I know if my treatment is working?
It is crucial that you have an insight into how well the treatment is working. This information can help you manage your treatment and ensure that further vision loss is not occurring. You will attend regular check-ups to monitor the progress of your treatment.
What activities should I avoid?
Making healthy lifestyle choices is always advisable, especially when you suffer from a chronic eye condition. The characteristics of glaucoma mean you should consult your eye doctor about your activities during your glaucoma treatment.
Avoid activities that require you to hang upside down, causing blood to rush to the head, as this causes the pressure in the eyes to increase.
Where can I find additional support?
In a support group, you can share thoughts, feelings, and insights into diagnoses and treatments. Ask your eye doctor about local support groups for glaucoma sufferers.
Glaucoma isn’t curable, but it is treatable. Caught early, glaucoma shouldn’t cause vision loss, but symptoms often don’t manifest physically until the condition has become severe. Regular eye examinations are crucial to catching glaucoma early and preventing vision loss.