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Talking to Your Doctor About Glaucoma

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with glaucoma. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Glaucoma

  • What type of glaucoma do I have?
  • Did something cause this problem? And if so, what?
  • How will my vision be affected now and in the future?

About Your Risk of Getting Glaucoma

  • Based on my health history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk?
  • How often should I get an eye exam to check for signs of glaucoma?

About Treatment Options

  • What treatments are used with glaucoma?
  • Which ones are right for me? Why?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • What are the risks and side effects?
  • What would happen without treatment?
  • What medicine options are right for me?
    • What are the benefits and effects?
    • Will they cause problems with other medicines, over-the-counter products, or supplements that I take?
  • Are there any complementary or alternative therapies that may help me?

About Outlook

  • Are there any local support groups?
  • What are the chances my treatment will help?
  • How will I know that my treatment has worked?
  • What can I tell my loved ones and friends about my health problem?
  • What is my outlook?
  • How often will I need checkups?
REFERENCES:

Angle-closure glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/angle-closure-glaucoma. Updated October 24, 2016. Accessed April 29, 2020.

Facts about glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts. Updated March 11, 2020. Accessed April 29, 2020.

Primary open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/primary-open-angle-glaucoma. Updated February 7, 2020. Accessed April 29, 2020.

Prum BE Jr, Rosenberg LF, et al; American Academy of Ophthalmology. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines. Ophthalmology. 2016 Jan;123(1):P41-P111.

Questions to ask your doctor. Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/working-with-your-doctor.php. Updated April 22, 2013. Accessed May 4, 2020.

What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma. Updated August 28, 2019. Accessed April 29, 2020.

What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma. Accessed April 29, 2020.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 5/4/2020