Don’t Let Glaucoma Rob You of Your Vision
Successfully managing your glaucoma is a continuing partnership between you and Eyecare Associates. Everyone at ECA is dedicated to providing the best care possible; however, it is critical that you take your medication(s) as directed and commit to keeping your follow-up appointments.
Diagnostic testing is another tool used by your doctor to evaluate the advancement of your disease. When scheduling your follow up examination, be sure and also schedule any tests recommended by your doctor.
Keep in mind that Glaucoma is hereditary. Anyone who has a relative diagnosed with Glaucoma should schedule an examination to determine if they too suffer from this disease.
You are highly valued as a patient at Eyecare Associates. We view successful health care as a partnership between you and us. Please call us with any questions you might have. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit.
Did you know that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness? What’s even more interesting is that glaucoma, when properly supervised by your doctor can be managed.
It’s up to you to protect your eyes from glaucoma. Often there are no symptoms, so regular eye exams are critical.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a general term used to describe damage to the optic nerve caused by eye pressure. If Glaucoma is not treated, pressure to the eye increases, causing loss of peripheral (side) vision.
High eye pressure occurs when drainage channels in the eye become clogged causing the pressure in the eye to increase. High eye pressure does not hurt. In its early stages, Glaucoma shows no symptoms. In fact, up to 40% of your optic nerve can be damaged before you notice any vision loss.
How Is Glaucoma Detected?
Regular and complete eye examinations are the best way to detect Glaucoma. The tests are simple and painless. Our doctors will use these tests to diagnose glaucoma and determine the best treatment for the disease.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible; however, medications, SLT Laser and/ or surgery are used to prevent further loss of vision when properly supervised by your doctor. Most glaucoma induced blindness is a result of not following your doctor’s advice about timely glaucoma examinations, diagnostic testing and the use of your prescription eye drops to control pressure.
Many eye drops are currently prescribed by our doctors for the treatment of Glaucoma. In some instances, one drop is not effective and must be used in combination with additional prescription eye drops. Your doctor will closely monitor your condition and recommend the proper course of treatment.
SLT Laser (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty)
New technological advances now allow patients to control their glaucoma without the aggravation and expense of multiple eye drops. This new procedure is called SLT. SLT does not rely upon prescription eye drops which are typically not covered by most insurance policies. Instead, SLT uses an advanced laser system to target specific cells of the eye. As a result, your body’s own healing response helps to lower the pressure in your eye caused by glaucoma.
SLT therapy is reimbursed by Medicare and many other insurance providers, which minimizes out-of-pocket expenses for eye drops.
Like the SLT Laser, the Argon Laser is also quite effective in lowering the pressure of the eye.
Multiple surgical procedures are utilized to control more advanced forms of Glaucoma that do not respond to SLT or prescription eye drops.
Who is At Risk for Getting Glaucoma?
Anyone can get Glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk. Increasing age, African ancestry, a family history of glaucoma, previous eye injuries or surgeries or health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure increase your chances of getting glaucoma.
Follow your doctor’s advice about timely office visits, diagnostic testing and medications to ensure that your vision does not become at risk.
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that you are being successfully treated, we have compiled a list of tips and suggestions to assist you in remembering to take you glaucoma medication.
Helpful Hints for Remembering Your Glaucoma Medication Consistency
- Always take your eye drops at the same time every day (or as recommended by your doctor).
- Associate taking your eye drops with other daily routines you have established for yourself, such as brushing your teeth.
- Keep your eye drops in the same place in your home and always know where they are.
- Ask a friend or family member to remind you to take your drops. Each day, they can ask, “Did you remember your eye drops today?”
Send Yourself A Signal
- Set a daily clock or watch alarm to serve as a reminder to take your eye drops.
- Put a reminder note in a prominent location, such as on the refrigerator door or on the mirror in your bathroom.
- Keep a calendar nearby and draw an “X” through each day after your medication is taken. This will serve as an easy visual cue to whether you took your medicine that day.
Make Sure You Do Not Run Out of Medication
- Keep a log of how long the eye drops last so you can get a refill before running out.
- Once you know how long your medication should last, mark your calendar to refill your prescription one week before you expect to run out.