A glaucoma diagnosis often comes as a surprise, since most cases occur without symptoms in the earliest stages. In fact, it is estimated that out of the three million Americans who have glaucoma, only around half of them are aware that they have the condition. Knowledge is power when it comes to preserving your eyesight, and understanding what living with glaucoma involves helps you be proactive regarding your treatment and care.
Build a Relationship With Your Eye Care Team
Your eye specialist serves as your first line of defense against losing your eyesight. After you receive your diagnosis, you can expect to attend follow-up visits that assess how well your new treatments are working. You’ll also want to reach out to your eye care team anytime you notice changes in your vision, such as finding it harder to see things from the sides of your eyes.
Adhere to Your Medication Treatment Plan
Prescription eye drops are the most common form of treatment for glaucoma, and you’ll want to make sure to use them according to the prescription’s directions. If your condition progresses, then laser treatments or surgery may be necessary to reduce the pressure in your eye. If you encounter challenges using your medication or concerning side effects after a treatment, then let your eye doctor in Brooklyn, NY know. They can help make sure your treatment plan is working well and suggest possible solutions for making it easier to adhere to the plan.
Cultivate a Healthy Lifestyle
Exercising and eating healthier meals won’t cure your glaucoma, but they can promote better overall eyesight by preventing other common conditions. Focusing on maintaining good heart health helps your body to pump oxygenated blood to your eyes that promotes better vision. Quitting smoking, protecting your eyes while playing sports and keeping blood sugar levels under control can all work along with your glaucoma treatment to improve your eye health.
Develop an Emotional Support Network
A glaucoma diagnosis can also cause you to feel anxiety about losing your ability to see your loved one’s faces and the beautiful environment that you enjoy in your life. If you find that you feel fearful about your future, then make sure to talk to other people about how glaucoma is impacting your mental and emotional wellbeing. Joining a support group for people with glaucoma is one option. You can also talk to your eye doctor, family members and other health care providers. Knowing that you can share how you feel makes it easier to cope with your new diagnosis.
Life with glaucoma doesn’t have to rob you of the ability to see the beauty in the world around you. With proper care, you can reduce eye pressure and prevent damage to your vision. As you learn more about your diagnosis, remember to reach out for help. Asking questions and actively participating in your treatment gives you the best prognosis for caring for your eyesight.