What Glaucoma Patients Want Others To Understand About the Disease

Worldwide, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, as per the CDC. A glaucoma diagnosis is often devastating, changing the way patients live their daily lives. Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons offer insight into what glaucoma patients want others to understand about their disease.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, occurs when eye fluid does not drain properly from the eye through a structure called the drainage angle. This fluid build-up results in higher intraocular pressure pressing on the optic nerve over time causing damage.

Closed-angle glaucoma generally happens in those whose iris is close to their eye’s drainage angle. When a blockage occurs, eye pressure ratchets up fast. Closed-angle glaucoma comes on quickly and constitutes a true eyen emergency. Without prompt treatment, the patient might go blind.

Keep in mind that 50 percent of people with glaucoma are unaware they have it. Glaucoma usually has no early symptoms. Pay attention to what friends and family with glaucoma are going through, as you could join their ranks someday. If you are African American, have a family history of glaucoma or are diabetic, your glaucoma risk is elevated.

Dealing With Fears

Glaucoma patients deal with fears that those with good vision do not think about. While going blind is the greatest fear, that is not the only challenge facing those with glaucoma. They may also worry about whether vision loss means they can no longer continue working in their current field. Some patients may worry that they cannot pay for the drugs prescribed to treat glaucoma.

Every person with glaucoma has individual fears regarding how their diagnosis will affect their life. Other people must understand that these are legitimate concerns. Fortunately, prompt treatment and regular follow-up help patients keep their condition under control and preserves vision as much as possible.  

Glaucoma Treatment 

Once they’ve gotten over the initial shock of their diagnosis, glaucoma patients learn from their eye doctor that glaucoma is controllable. The key is lowering intraocular pressure, and treatments include:

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Oral medications
  • Laser therapy
  • Surgery

Schedule Your Consultation in Boston

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, or are experiencing symptoms of the disease, schedule a consultation at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons today by calling (617) 232-9600 or filling out our online form.