Glaucoma -- How It Affects Everyday Life
Recently diagnosed with glaucoma and feeling scared? The biggest fear of most people is possible blindness, but treatment of glaucoma has progressed a great deal in even the last 20 years. There are many different types of eye drops and several types of surgery to combat this sight-stealing disease.
How Will It Impact My Daily Life?
First, it is normal to be scared. Fear of the unknown is common. So ask your eye doctor questions, talk to him or her about the treatment options, and what you can do to protect your eyesight. In the early stages, it may not impact your life, with the exception of using eye drops or taking medicines.
Quality of life is the next unknown. With treatment, you should be able to continue to do the things you normally do. Don’t set limits, just do the things you always wanted to do or enjoy doing on a regular basis. Enjoy your life! If you’re being treated, vision loss should be minimal if occur at all.
With glaucoma, you may experience some depression, and this is normal. Physical activity is recommended, and walking, sports, and running are still going to be options. Physical activity not only will help with your mood but helps with your quality of life. With treatments and all the research that is being done on this disease, you may be able to enjoy these activities for many years to come.
Share Your Feelings
Chronic diseases are frightening, and it is normal to be depressed. You are not alone. Talk to your family, friends, your eye doctor, and, if need be, a specialist. Quality of life is something we all fear losing, but by talking about and asking questions, you’ll better understand the disease.
Ways to Slow the Disease
It is important that you use the eye drops prescribed to you, as they will not work if they are not used regularly. Talk to your eye specialist about the side effects and let them know if you have concerns. Talk to him or her about natural treatments and do your research. You are your best advocate. Wear glasses that are tinted, or sunglasses. The best tints are those that cut the glare such as yellow, brown, or amber. Sunglasses should always be of the polarized variety.
What to Expect as the Disease Progresses
As glaucoma gets worse, you may find that reading, driving, and even some physical activities become difficult. It may be harder to see at night, making it necessary to stop driving at night. The disease also may leave you unsteady on your feet, and you may fall more often. Despite that, glaucoma is not a reason to stop enjoying your life! Do you have tips for enjoying your life while dealing with disease? We love to hear happy stories!
Dr. Jenna Zigler
Other Dry Eye articles by Dr. Zigler: 4 Tips to Stop Waking Up With Dry, Painful Eyes; Which Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye; Fish Oil for Fighting Dry Eye Inflammation; and What Not To Eat If You Have Dry Eye