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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss in one or both eyes. Glaucoma is caused by fluid buildup behind the eye. This puts pressure on your optic nerve and damages it. Glaucoma usually develops slowly.
- Eye pressure medicines help decrease eye pressure. They may also decrease the amount of fluid your eyes make or help your eyes drain better.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or ophthalmologist as directed:
You may need to return every 3 to 6 months to have your eye pressure checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Avoid behaviors that increase eye pressure:
Try not to strain when you have a bowel movement. Do not wear tight clothing around your neck or chest. Do not push or lift anything heavier than 5 pounds. Avoid strenuous activity.
Avoid people who are sick:
Eye pressure increases when you sneeze or cough.
Medical alert identification:
Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have glaucoma. Ask your PHP where to get these items.
Contact your PHP or ophthalmologist if:
- Your symptoms get worse, even after treatment.
- Your eye medicine causes your eyes to sting or turn red.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have a sudden loss of vision.
- You have blurry vision and a severe headache.
- You have severe eye pain or a change in your vision.
- You have nausea and are vomiting.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.