Now that the holidays are over, what do you plan to do this month?
May we make a suggestion? If you didn’t have an eye exam in 2013, this
would be an excellent time to do it.
That’s because January is
Glaucoma Awareness Month, in honor of the nearly 2.7 million Americans
over 40 who are currently afflicted with this sight-robbing disease.
fact, in the U.S. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable
blindness. An alarming stat, but at Home Instead Senior Care Central
Oregon, we want to focus on the word preventable.
So, with help
from www.glaucoma.org, here are some tips on how to help yourself and
your loved ones prevent glaucoma-induced blindness.
• Get regular
eye exams. Experts estimate that about half of glaucoma sufferers don’t
even know they have it. Those at risk for developing glaucoma should
have a complete eye exam, including eye dilation, every one to two
years. People over 60, those with close family members who have
glaucoma, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, those who have had an
eye injury, those who are nearsighted, people who have hypertension, and
steroid users (including prescribed steroids) are among those at risk
but regular eye exams are a good idea for everyone.
• Don’t Drop
Your Drops. Research has shown that approximately 40% of patients do not
take their glaucoma medications as prescribed, or do not continue to
refill them. Making sure that you follow the eye drop prescription to
the letter is essential to preventing sight loss.
• Eye Chat. Tell
everyone on your health care team, including your family doctor and
other specialists, that you have glaucoma and what medications you are
taking. This will help them in prescribing treatments that won’t
interfere with your glaucoma medications. Be especially careful about
using any medication that contains cortisone. Also, be sure to tell your
doctor about any side effects you experience once you have started your
medication, or if it’s not working for you – you may need a different
type of medication.
• Call It As You See It. Report any changes to
your doctor, especially eye irritation, watering, blurring or
scratchiness, unusual discharge in the corner of your eye, temporarily
cloudy vision, or rainbows around lights at night.
For more information about glaucoma, visit www.glaucoma.org. For more information about caring for seniors, please contact Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400 or Like us on Facebook.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
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