The Short And Long Term Effects Of Glaucoma

If you’ve received a new glaucoma diagnosis, you may be wondering how this disease will affect your daily life. The short- and long-term effects of glaucoma can be successfully treated, especially with early detection of the condition.

Short-Term Effects of Glaucoma

The early detection and treatment of glaucoma is the number one factor in preventing further vision loss (Mayo Clinic, 2011). When you’re first diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor will determine which type you have and how much damage has already been incurred.
Open-angle glaucoma, the most prevalent type, often goes unnoticed in individuals who have the disease. Sometimes the only symptom is a gradual loss of vision. This is one of the most treatable forms of glaucoma when detected early.
Normal-tension glaucoma and congenital glaucoma (glaucoma that is present at birth) are also treatable when detected early, and by working closely with your doctor you may be able to prevent further vision loss.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a more serious type that can cause rapid deterioration of ocular health and vision. It can cause significant pain, nausea and vomiting.
After being diagnosed with one of these types of glaucoma, you may be required to visit your ophthalmologist on a monthly or even weekly basis. Through these visits, a doctor can track the progression of the disease and recommend specific glaucoma treatments including eye drops, other medications or surgery.

Long-Term Effects of Glaucoma

Glaucoma first affects the peripheral vision before attacking the central vision. Many glaucoma patients are able to control their glaucoma at an early stage, and therefore do not have to give up any of their normal activities.
Other individuals living with glaucoma may experience a more rapid deterioration. Some may have difficulty driving or operating other heavy machinery, reading or watching television. Keeping up with your prescribed treatments can help to avoid this eventuality.
If the glaucoma does not respond to treatments, or if it’s allowed to progress, the eventual result is blindness. This disease is the second leading cause of blindness (Mayo Clinic, 2011).

What Can I Do To Prevent Further Vision Loss?

You may be able to prevent further deterioration of your vision and ocular health by maintaining regularly scheduled visits to your doctor’s office and following all recommended treatment procedures.
While loss of vision due to glaucoma cannot be reversed, many people are able to maintain their vision throughout their lives by following recommended procedures.
If you’d like to learn more about the conditions associated with glaucoma and who is most at risk, learn more about the epidemiology of glaucoma.