FAQ - glaucoma
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What are the important questions I need to ask my optometrist Re: Glaucoma; when I see her on Tuesday?

I was diagnosed 6 months ago with Glaucoma and I am still in shock; denial.
Yes, I use my drops religiously and I've read everything I can get my hands on---and I'm not finding much to read.
Please list as many questions as you can think of that are relevant to my diagnosis.
I have open angle Glaucoma and I have had 3 field vision tests.

Ask if you have any damage.

Glaucoma is often characterized by damage to the optic nerve, causing a reproducible defect to appear in a visual field test.

Ophthalmologists may tell a patient they have glaucoma and start them on treatment even if they just have ocular hypertension.

Ocular hypertension is a characteristic of glaucoma, but not necessarily indicative of the condition. If you don't have any damage or visual loss, then you do not have glaucoma. You may have ocular hypertension and you are being treated with drops to prevent glaucoma and optic nerve damage.

Do not be afraid. Stay informed. Don't ever stop using your medication. You don't go blind from a few days of ocular hypertension, but years without seeing a doctor and your vision can drop off without you noticing... until one day you realize you can't see as well as you used to. It's gradual.  (+ info)

Why is it recommended that people with glaucoma don't take Midol and the like?

On the label it says to ask a doctor first before taking if you have glaucoma, but other similar medications say this as well. Why is that? Also, does it refer to both types of glaucoma, or just one?

Midol contains an antihistamine called pyrilamine. All antihistamines have a potential effect on glaucoma, or increased pressures inside the eye. I will quote a previous (good) answer regarding a similar question:

"In people with closed-angle glaucoma, [antihistamines] can lead to an increase in intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye), which can worsen the glaucoma. That is why it is generally recommended that people with glaucoma do not use antihistamines. However, people with open-angle glaucoma (where the eye fluid can still move or drain) may be able to use antihistamines safely because they aren't as likely to have this increase in intraocular pressure due to the drug's effects."  (+ info)

Does having sinus congestion affect glaucoma pressure in an eye?

I have glaucoma in my left eye with two baervedlt implants which are keeping the pressure steady, but I want to know if having any kind of sinus congestion could affect the pressure with or without the implants in.

No...Glaucoma is raised intra-occular pressure (inside the eyeball). Sinus congestion may make you feel as if there is increased pressure in your face/head, but isn't connected to the pressure inside your eyeball.
However, if you are worried, you could contact your opthalmology clinic to as for a pressure check.  (+ info)

Should I visit an ophthamologist for further glaucoma tests?

A couple months ago my optometrist said I was borderline after she did the air puff test, but left it at that (she didn't seem too concerned and she told me there are other reasons I might have come up borderline). Since then, I've had several people tell me I should still visit an ophthamologist for further testing. What should I do? There is no history of glaucoma in my family, and I am a 26-year-old, healthy, near-sighted Caucasian female. Thanks!

That test is notoriously inaccurate. You could show a pressure that the books say is normal but can still have glaucoma and be in danger of going blind. You could have the test done ten times in a row and get 10 different readings.

Optometrists are there to measure what glasses you need. They are not trained in diseases of the eyes. You need to go to an ophthalmologist who will look at the shape of your retina where the optic nerve is, looking for the flattening of that cup area that indicates damage from glaucoma. An ophthalmologist can also do field tests to see how much peripheral vision loss you have and recheck again to see if that has worsened.

If you ignore glaucoma you will lose all of your peripheral vision and be unable to drive a car or watch out for traffic when walking across the street.  (+ info)

what are the precautions to be taken for glaucoma?

i have glaucoma for the last 3 years.i am using drops under the supervision of oncologist .i want to know if i play word games for 1or 2 hours a day ,will that affect my eyes in future?i am very much interested in playing word games in my computer(only word games).ido not find any difficultyin playing except for a normal head ache which is common to all.it will vanish within no time .i want to know whether partial voracious reading or playing computer games is going to affect my eyes in future.i am 53 now .my children are away.&my husband is honest in his work.when i play or read i dont expect anybody.i find the time useful &at the sametime relaxing.so somebody advise me with their useful tips.

The number 1 precaution against glaucoma is regular check ups. Secondly, if you are on drops for glaucoma its important that you use them as directed. Studies have actually shown that alot of people use their drops as directed largely in the month leading up to an appoitment with the doctor and just after... as if they are just trying to keep the doctor happy!!

As far as the word games are concerned, play away. These will have no effect towards your eyes...and will definately not cause any long term damage.  (+ info)

Can a person with Glaucoma have Lasik for vision correction?

I have open angle, pigmentary glaucoma does this rule me out of having any sort of vision correction.

My wife recently had it done and is now better that 20/20. My vision is not horrible (I don't wear coke bottle glasses) and I would really love to live with out glasses.

I think it depends on the surgeon, but the ones I've worked with won't perform it on you.  (+ info)

What is the field of vision threshold and what does it have to do with glaucoma?

I thought the puff of air was the test for glaucoma.

I believe you are talking about visual field testing which is often done on patients to determine if there has been any loss in photoreceptors due to glaucoma. This helps track the progress of the disease and to help make sure the medication is doing its job in slowing the progression. The threshold is how sensitive you are to the stimuli being presented in the visual field test.
The puff of air is used to get an estimate of the pressure inside the eye. An increased pressure raises the chances of photoreceptor death. This is simply a screening test as there are other factors that play a role in the diagnosis of glaucoma. it gives the doctor an indication that something might be happening that needs to be more closely examined.  (+ info)

Glaucoma: The doctor mentioned something about putting pressure behind their eyes to see if they have it?

Both of my parents need to be tested for glaucoma. If what I heard was right, they're going to put pressure behind their eyes.

What is this, what happens, and what will it tell the doctor?

Usually the doctor will put eye drops in both eyes to numb them a bit, then the doctor lightly touches the eye with a device that safely tells the intraocular (or inside the eye) pressure. Or the "puff test" can be used where a puff of pressurized air is blown into the eye to check the pressure.

If the pressure is too high then this could be a sign of glaucoma. Looking at the optic nerve in the back of the eye (this is done after dilating the pupils) can help to confirm whether a person is suffering from glaucoma. Glaucoma is a very treatable disease (usually eye drops, sometimes surgery) but it must be detected because their are no pain or vision symptoms until it is quite advanced and the damage is done by that point.  (+ info)

What is the relationship between glaucoma and diabetes?

Is glaucoma signs of being diabetic?

  (+ info)

Why have I not yet been diagnosed with glaucoma?

About two years ago, I went to the eye doctor and found out I had about 20/65 vision in both eyes. I went back a year later and found out it got worse, now to 20/80 in both, plus ocular hypertension with a pressure of 27. The doctor said I have about a 65% chance of developing glaucoma. How have I not been diagnosed with a pressure that high? Thanks.

You are probably considered Glaucoma Suspect at this point. Glaucoma technically is considered the loss of peripheral vision or visual Field. Basically, the doctor tries to prevent it before it happens. Also, a series of tests are required before they can technically call it Glaucoma. Also, glaucoma in most cases is a very very slow process- so slow you need regular check ups to monitor it because by the time you as a patient notice it- it will be too late. If your doctor has not done Visual Field tests, Photo Documentation or any nerve fiber analysis it might be time to find a doctor who is more confident in the treatment and diagnosis of glaucoma. It is ok to see a regular optometrist, but ask the staff when you call around to make appointments how much experience the doctor has with glaucoma patients. Really, you should expect to be going to your eye doctor every year to 6 months. And get used to that visual Field test because you will take it over and over again. I hope this helps!!  (+ info)

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