Don't Let Glaucoma Rob Your Vision

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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.

In 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, 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 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.


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