Life With Glaucoma: How Life With Glaucoma Is For A Patient

If you suffer from glaucoma, you know how debilitating the disease can be. It can literally steal your vision and make everyday tasks incredibly difficult.

Even something as simple as reading a book or watching television can become an immense challenge.

But despite all of this, most patients living with glaucoma still manage to live their lives to the best of their abilities – and in some cases, they’re even thriving.

So, if you’re a patient with glaucoma, know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of other people out there who are managing the disease with the help of their doctors, and they’re living proof that life with glaucoma doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

How To Manage Your Life With Glaucoma

As a patient with glaucoma, it is important to take extra care of your daily routine and be aware of any changes in your condition.

Here are some tips on how to manage your daily life with glaucoma:

Take Care of Your Vision

After glaucoma diagnosis, one of the most important things you can do is take care of your vision.

This means following the treatment regimen prescribed by your glaucoma specialist, which may include medications, surgery, or a combination of both.

It is also important to have regular checkups with your ophthalmologist or optometrist to monitor the progression of the disease and ensure that your treatment is working.

They may ask you to come more often if they see any changes in your condition. And even though these frequent appointments can be time-consuming, they are important to help you keep your vision since glaucoma often has no early symptoms.

Understand Your Condition

It is understandable to feel overwhelmed when you are first diagnosed with glaucoma.

There is a lot of information to take in, and it can be difficult to know where to start because different types of glaucoma require different treatments.

The best thing you can do is learn as much as possible about your condition. The more you understand about glaucoma, the better equipped you will be to manage your condition and maintain your quality of life.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or another healthcare team member.

Avoid Falls and Accidents

People living with glaucoma often find themselves at risk for falls or accidents due to the nature of their disease.

To avoid these risks, you may need to take some extra precautions. For example, you might need a handrail when going up and down stairs or installing grab bars around the toilet and bathtub.

Organizing frequently used items within easy reach can also help prevent accidents.

In addition, you can use scanning techniques to help you navigate your environment safely. For instance, you can sweep your hand back and forth as you walk to detect obstacles in your path. 

You can also look from side to side instead of just straight ahead when walking or crossing the street.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about falls or accidents. They can help you develop a plan to stay safe and healthy.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is especially important for glaucoma patients. This means exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep.

Exercise helps lower eye pressure, and eating a healthy diet helps keep your eyes healthy and can also help reduce intraocular pressure. Getting enough sleep is important for overall health and can help reduce stress levels.

While exercising, avoiding activities that put too much strain on your eyes is important, such as contact sports. Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Continue Reading

Activities like reading can become challenging if you have glaucoma. But don’t give up on reading!

With a little bit of effort, you can find ways to enjoy your favorite books and articles without strain. And who knows, you might even discover some new tools and technologies.

For example, handheld magnifying devices can make it easier to read print material. Audiobooks are another option for enjoying books without having to strain your eyes.

Several websites offer text-to-speech options, which can be helpful for reading online articles or ebooks.

Also, some web browsers allow you to change the font size and contrast on your computer screen, making reading text easier.

Manage Your Medication

Taking the right medication prescribed by your doctor is critical to managing glaucoma and preventing vision loss.

If you have trouble remembering to take your medication, ask a family member or friend to remind you. It’s important not to skip doses or stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor first.

You can also schedule a regular time each day for taking your meds and set the alarm if needed. Some people find it helpful to keep their medication where they see it often, such as on the kitchen counter or next to the toothbrush holder.

If you wear soft contact lenses, take them out before glaucoma eye drops. Wait at least 15 minutes after using the drops before putting your lenses back in.

Before you begin taking any medications, be sure to tell your doctor about any other drugs you’re taking and any allergies you have.

It’s also important to let your doctor know if you develop any new symptoms while taking glaucoma medication, such as eye pain, redness, blurred vision, or headaches. 

These could be signs that the medication is not working properly or that you have an allergic reaction.

Let People In

You’re not alone if you feel like you’re the only one with glaucoma. In fact, over three million Americans suffer from this eye condition. 

There’s no need to go through it alone. Let people in and ask for help when you need it. Talk to your family and friends about what you’re going through.

It can also be helpful to connect with others who have glaucoma. Talking to others can help you feel less lonely and give tips on managing your condition. You can find support groups online or in your community.

For example, has a wealth of information on its website, including a list of support groups around the country.

Sustain Your Lifestyle

As a glaucoma patient, you can make lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms and help preserve your vision.

Here are some suggestions:

Avoid Rubbing Eyes

One of the most important things you can do if you have glaucoma is to avoid rubbing your eyes. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done when your eyes are itchy or irritated.

Remember that rubbing can exacerbate glaucoma by increasing eye pressure. If you can’t resist the urge to rub, do it gently with a clean cloth.

Another way to relieve itchy eyes is to use artificial tears. These over-the-counter eye drops can help keep your eyes lubricated and comfortable.

Just be sure to choose a product that’s safe for your eyes. Some drops contain preservatives that can be harmful.

Precautions if You Had Eye Surgery

There are a few things you should take into consideration if you had eye surgery to avoid exacerbating glaucoma. Most importantly, follow your doctor’s instructions for care and recovery.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:

  • Get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity for at least a week after the surgery.
  • Keep your head elevated when lying down to reduce swelling.
  • Use artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated and avoid dryness.
  • Apply a warm compress to your eyes for a few minutes several times daily to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes, and don’t put anything in them (no makeup, no contact lenses) for at least a week after surgery.

Keep Your Body Healthy

Your overall health can significantly impact the progression of glaucoma and your quality of life. 

Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight are all critical factors in managing glaucoma.

Certain medical conditions can also increase your risk of developing glaucoma or make the condition worse. 

These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and migraines. If you have any of these conditions, it’s important to work with your doctor to keep them under control.

Smoking is also a risk factor for glaucoma, so quitting smoking is important for your overall health and glaucoma management.

Eat and Live Healthy

No specific diet has been shown to slow the progression of glaucoma, but eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help sustain your lifestyle if living with glaucoma.

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A, C, and E, may also help protect your eyes from damage.

In addition to eating healthy, regular exercise is essential for people with glaucoma. Exercise can help improve your overall health and well-being and may also help lower eye pressure.

Furthermore, it is important to see your doctor regularly to ensure that your glaucoma is properly managed. 

If you are not seeing your doctor regularly, now is the time to make an appointment. 

Remember, the earlier glaucoma is detected and treated, the better your chances of preserving your vision.

Increase Fluid Intake

Water is essential for our bodies to function. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our body needs water to work properly.

 Not only does water transport nutrients to our cells, but it also helps remove waste from our bodies.

For people with glaucoma, it is imperative to maintain proper fluid intake. This is because increased fluid intake can help reduce intraocular pressure (IOP).

There are many different ways to increase your fluid intake. You can drink more water, juice, and/or tea. You can also eat foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.

However, quickly drinking a bottle of water can raise your IOP. So, it is important to drink fluids throughout the day rather than all at once.

Talk to your doctor or eye care professional if you have trouble increasing your fluid intake. They may be able to give you specific recommendations based on your individual needs.


If you have glaucoma, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to relax. That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true.

So, what counts as a relaxing activity? Anything that helps you feel calm and reduces stress, such as reading, listening to music, spending time in nature, or spending time with friends and family.

One study even found that people who did mindful meditation had lower levels of stress hormones than those who didn’t meditate.

There are many different ways to relax, so find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine. Not only will it help you manage your glaucoma, but it will also help you sustain a healthy lifestyle overall.

Concerning Factors

Patients with glaucoma may experience several concerning factors impacting their quality of life. These may include:

Declining Rate

Glaucoma can affect your quality of life in many ways. Recent studies have revealed a strong connection between progressive structural and functional loss in glaucoma and a person’s quality of life.

According to the National Eye Institute, people with faster rates of visual field loss (as measured by standard automated perimetry or SAP) also reported more significant declines in their quality of life.

This means the rate of visual field loss is one of the most significant indicators of quality of life decline in patients with glaucoma.

In other words, the faster your visual field loss progresses, the more likely you are to experience a negative impact on your quality of life.

This is because patients with slowly progressing diseases have more time to adapt to their changing vision, making them less likely to experience a decline in quality of life.

Driving Concerns

Most studies suggest that mild- to moderate-glaucoma can impair a patient’s driving ability, which places the driver and others at risk. 

One study found that those with glaucoma were nearly three times more likely to have an automobile accident than those without the disease.

There are several reasons why driving may be more difficult for someone with glaucoma. First, the loss of peripheral vision associated with glaucoma can make it more difficult to see objects or people in the driver’s blind spot. 

Second, glaucoma can cause depth perception problems, making it more difficult to judge the distance of oncoming traffic or pedestrians. 

Finally, contrast sensitivity and the ability to track moving targets are two essential visual functions necessary for driving, both of which can be impaired in early glaucoma.

In addition, some medications used to treat glaucoma can cause side effects such as drowsiness or blurred vision, which can further impair driving ability.

Given these concerns, discussing your driving abilities with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma is important.

You may also want to consider taking a defensive driving course to brush up on your skills. There are many resources available to those with disabilities that can help you maintain your independence. 

For example, The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists is an organization with certified professionals who can help assess your driving ability and provide training if necessary.

Risk of Falls

Individuals with visual field loss from glaucoma are at an increased risk for falls.

The visual field is like a curtain around your head, and when it starts to close in from the sides, your ability to see approaching objects decreases.

This can make it difficult to avoid obstacles, especially if you are walking in unfamiliar surroundings. As the visual field gets smaller, your risk of falling increases.

However, implementing simple steps such as identifying the locations and circumstances of previous falls by patients with glaucoma can help reduce your risk.

Learn to Use Other Senses

Most people think of low vision as only being about your eyesight. However, if you have low vision, it doesn’t mean you lose all of your other senses.

In fact, using your other senses, such as hearing, touch, and smell, can help offset some of the challenges associated with glaucoma.

Improve Hearing and Listening

To improve your listening abilities, you must concentrate on what you hear rather than concentrating on what you see. Remember, the more you listen, the more likely you recall it later.

There are many ways to improve hearing and listening. Some people use audio devices such as headphones or earbuds to hear better. Others use screen-reader software that reads text aloud so they can follow along with what is being said.

You can also improve your sense of hearing in many practical ways. For example, the sound of a refrigerator running indicates that you’re entering the kitchen. The sounds of footsteps on a hard floor are an indication that someone is approaching.

No matter what method you use, by learning to pay attention to these types of cues, you can improve your ability to hear and understand what is being said, making life with glaucoma easier.

Use Your Touch

People with low vision from glaucoma can still maintain some degree of sight. This means they can still use their sense of touch to see the world around them.

For example, they can use their hands to feel the texture of an object or run their fingers over a raised surface to read Braille. When cooking, they can use their sense of touch to measure ingredients, mix them, and feel for doneness

Those with severe vision loss can use a white cane or guide dog to help them get around.

However, even without these tools, people with low vision can still use their sense of touch to navigate their surroundings. 

For instance, when climbing stairs, they can count the steps or feel for a handrail. And when walking down a street, they can use their sense of touch to follow the curb.

Undoubtedly, life with glaucoma can be difficult. But with the proper treatment and support, people living with glaucoma can still live full and active lives. And if you have glaucoma, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to you, and with the right tools and information, you can manage your condition and keep your vision loss to a minimum. Remember to stay positive, use your remaining senses, and get help when you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I live a normal life with glaucoma?

Yes, you can live a normal life with glaucoma. In fact, most people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it because there are no early symptoms. However, without treatment, glaucoma can lead to vision loss and blindness. That’s why it’s important to have regular checkups

How does glaucoma affect a person’s life?

Glaucoma can lead to vision loss and blindness, which can obviously affect a person’s life in a major way. Without treatment, glaucoma can slowly steal your vision. This can make it difficult to do everyday activities like driving, reading, or watching television. In severe cases, glaucoma can cause complete blindness if left untreated.

How long can one live with glaucoma?

There is no specific answer to this question since it varies from person to person. Some people may only experience minor vision loss while others may go blind. It really depends on the severity of glaucoma and how well you stick to your treatment plan.

How to prevent glaucoma from worsening?

If caught early, glaucoma can be managed with medication and/or surgery. However, if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Therefore, it is important to get regular eye exams and follow your eye doctor’s recommendations for treatment. This way, you can prevent glaucoma from worsening.

Can you drive after a glaucoma test?

Yes, you can drive after a glaucoma test. However, if you have been prescribed medication to lower your eye pressure, you should wait until the medication has taken effect before driving. This is because the medication can cause blurred vision. If you are unsure whether it is safe to drive, you should ask your eye doctor.

Eric Gutenberg
Author: Eric Gutenberg

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