It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have Glaucoma. It is also the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
A Glaucoma diagnosis for a parent often comes with many questions and heavy concerns. Your willingness to educate yourself about Glaucoma and provide reassurance and assistance can make their scary diagnosis easier to bare.
An Introduction to Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to the eye’s optic nerve often resulting in blindness. Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes.
Open Angle Glaucoma, the most common form of Glaucoma is a chronic condition. In earlier stages, there are usually no symptoms. Eye pressure is the primary indicator for damage to the optic nerve damage. This damage causes vision loss and impairment. Therefore, controlling pressure inside the eye is the primary goal of most Glaucoma therapies. Another risk factor for optic nerve damage is high blood pressure. Management of high blood pressure is a high level concern for Glaucoma patients.
Vision loss usually begins with peripheral or side vision blindness. This loss of vision cannot be corrected, but further vision loss is often preventable.
There is no cure for Glaucoma, however, a variety of treatments are available. Most patients with Glaucoma are treated with laser or conventional surgery, followed by a medication regimen that may include oral medications or eye drops.
Reassure Them Their Condition is Treatable
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. This is primarily because most cases go untreated. Only half of the 3 million Americans affected know they have Glaucoma.
By seeing a doctor and receiving a diagnosis, they have taken the first step to treating their condition. Remind your parent that the only way to prohibit Glaucoma from further impacting their life is to follow through with the medical treatment recommended by their doctor.
Going blind is undoubtedly the biggest fear your parent with Glaucoma is facing. Genetic and ethnic factors play a role in the likelihood of a Glaucoma patient losing their vision, but on average 15% of Glaucoma patients lose the ability to read in at least one eye.
It is important to note that if you have concerns on your parent’s ability to drive safely, the Texas Department of Safety offers a reexamination for when a person’s driving skills must be reevaluated based on one or more factors, including the driver’s physical or mental condition, or driving record. These reexaminations can be recommended by a family member,
physical or emergency medical technician, or peace officer. This assessment ensures your parent is capable of safely operate a vehicle based on standards set forth by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Coping with vision loss may be a concern for your parent. The American Glaucoma Society has compiled an extensive list of resources for glaucoma patients and caregivers.
Assist with the Healthcare Routine
Consistency is key to any healthcare routine. Your parent may have been prescribed oral medications or medicated eye drops to treat their symptoms. Ensuring your parent follows their doctor’s recommendations is crucial.
Providing a reminder during a daily visit or phone call can assist your parent in adapting to their new routine. If your parent has arthritis, applying eye drops may be difficult. Many people find applying eye drops difficult, not just seniors. Don’t be afraid to offer your assistance.
If your parent requires surgery to treat their Glaucoma, offer to attend their pre-operative appointments. You can provide peace of mind to your parent by being prepared to be a part of their post-surgical care.
If you or other loved ones will be taking on a larger role in your parent’s day to day life, Care Assist Solutions can facilitate the change in lifestyle both you and your parent are facing. In addition, we offer professional drivers to help with transportation to and from doctor appointments or for other errands. One of our care management specialists can act as your quarterback in organizing your parent’s medical needs as well as the obligations in your own personal life, like your children.
Care Assist Solutions also provides families facing Glaucoma with full support solutions. Our professional caretakers can handle household chores and provide your parent companionship. Our services provide you peace of mind that your parent is receiving their medication, has nutritious meals and enjoys the company of a caring companion. Our flexible arrangements allow us to tailor our services to the needs of your family.
Does your family need assistance with managing your parent’s glaucoma symptoms or treatment? Contact us for a complimentary care assessment and consultation at 214-766-3844 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to learning about your family and discovering how we fit into your parent’s glaucoma care solution.