Receiving a medical diagnosis of any kind, including a glaucoma diagnosis, can stir up a range of emotions. You may be relieved and grateful to finally have some answers while also feeling anxious about what the future holds.
Whatever you are feeling, know that you are not alone. Doctors like Joshua Hann have devoted their professional careers to caring for patients with glaucoma and other vision disorders.
Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed. With Dr Hann’s guidance, you can reduce your risk of losing sight. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start to process your diagnosis.
Comply With Your Treatment Recommendations
Along with your diagnosis you should receive treatment recommendations. Usually the first line of glaucoma treatment is medical therapy. Medicated eyedrops are a conservative and cost-effective way to manage intraocular pressure and prevent any spikes that could threaten the health of your optic nerve.
Although there are great medications available to manage your glaucoma, compliance is crucial. Use your drops every day as prescribed. According to Glaucoma Australia, approximately 50 percent of people with glaucoma stop taking their medications within six months. Some have a hard time remembering to use the drops, or have dexterity problems that make it difficult to administer the drops. Others stop using their medication because their vision seems fine.
If you find it hard to adhere to your treatment and management plan, talk to Dr Hann. He can offer support or suggestions.
Do Not Skip Follow-up Appointments
Because glaucoma is a progressive disease, ongoing monitoring is essential. Intraocular pressure continually fluctuates, making it possible to sustain optic nerve damage or vision loss at any time. With open-angle glaucoma, there are often no warning signs or obvious symptoms, so you may not realize anything is wrong.
Dr Hann will assess your intraocular pressure and the structures of your eyes regularly. During these checks, he looks for any signs of damage or loss of vision that you may not be aware of. The frequency of your appointments will be based on your individual case. Remember, even if your vision seems to be OK, it is imperative to attend all of your appointments.
Advocate for Yourself
Many people feel a loss of control when faced with a medical diagnosis. The best way to combat these emotions is to learn as much as you can about your disease and communicate openly with your health care provider.
Do not hesitate to mention new symptoms or concerns to Dr Hann during or in between appointments. Ask questions or request clarification if a part of your treatment and management plan does not make sense. By being your own health advocate, you can take back control and learn to cope with your “new normal.”
Contact Us Today
If you would like more information about glaucoma, please call or email Eastside Eye Specialist Care today.