If you have recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may feel overwhelmed. You may have been given literature to read and new medications to incorporate into your daily schedule.
Just remember that treating your glaucoma is a team effort, and you are not alone. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, a good time to make sure that you are “aware” of the glaucoma support that is available to you.
Visit Your Ophthalmologist Regularly
If you are taking glaucoma medication, your ophthalmologist will want to see you every 3 to 6 months. This can vary according to your specific needs, so ask your eye doctor how often you should schedule your appointments.
Keep a Copy of Your Medical Records
Many patients have no idea that they can request copies of their medical records. Keeping a copy of your records and test results can be educational and informative as you learn more about the specific tests that a glaucoma diagnosis requires. Having access to your records may empower you to ask questions and take an active role in your treatment.
Keep a Log or Journal with Questions
Between eye appointments, you may have questions or concerns. Designate a health notebook so you can document your questions and thoughts and share at your next appointment.
Enlist the Support of Family and Friends
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, do not keep it from your family and friends. Allow them to assist you with care and provide moral support.
Do Not Settle for Less than the Best
Maintaining your vision is important, and if you have a diagnosis of glaucoma, you will be visiting your ophthalmologist more often. Be sure that your relationship with your ophthalmologist is one of mutual respect and openness. If you are not satisfied with your care, it may affect the amount of effort you put forth in the treatment process. You can always get a second opinion or choose a new ophthalmologist. Select the doctor who has a style and approach that fits both your clinical needs and your personality.
Your glaucoma treatment will be successful if you take an active role in your care plan. Educate yourself, rely on family and friends, ask questions and communicate with your doctor regularly. Learning to live with glaucoma is not easy, but it is manageable with the right support and care.