WHAT YOU SHOULD 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.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Eye pressure medicines: These help decrease eye pressure. They may also decrease the amount of fluid your eyes make or help your eyes drain better. These medicines may be eyedrops or pills.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider 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 primary healthcare provider or ophthalmologist as directed:
You may need to return every 3 to 6 months to have your eye pressure checked. Bring your eyedrops and other medicines with you. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Help prevent more eye damage:
- Do not wear tight clothing around your neck or chest.
- Try not to strain when you have a bowel movement.
- Do not push or lift anything heavier than 5 pounds.
- Avoid heavy exercise.
- Try to avoid people who are sick. Sneezing and coughing increase eye pressure.
- Remove electrical cords, loose rugs, or other items that are on the floor.
- Put bright lights in your hallways and stairways. Put a night light in the bathroom.
- Do not drive at night if you have trouble seeing in the dark.
- Wear sunglasses if bright sunlight or glare bothers your eyes.
- Turn your head side to side regularly to see what is around you.
Medical alert identification:
Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have glaucoma. Ask where to get these items.
Contact your primary healthcare provider 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 red eyes and severe, throbbing eye pain.
- You have blurry vision and a severe headache.
- 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.