Glaucoma is the umbrella name for a group of eye conditions that can lead to vision loss and blindness. The good news is that with early detection and diligent treatment, the effects of glaucoma can be mitigated and vision preserved. Read on to learn more about how to care for your eyes if you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma.

1. Take Medications as Prescribed

The most common treatment for glaucoma is prescription medication to lower pressure in the eye. These medications can be in the form of eye drops or pills. Using prescriptions exactly as directed by your doctor is an important part of treating the symptoms of glaucoma and making sure that your vision remains intact.

2. Stay Abreast of Vision Changes

Make sure you communicate regularly with your doctor about any medication side effects you’re experiencing, as well as any changes to your vision. These may include eye irritation, blurriness, dizziness, discharge, or halos around lights. Your doctor may need to adjust your prescriptions accordingly.

3. Wear Your Glasses

According to The Eyewear Place, wearing your prescription eyeglasses as needed can help stave off further vision changes. In addition, you should also wear protective eye wear as necessary; for example, sunglasses when out in the sun, goggles when swimming, and protective coverage when doing yard work.

4. Consider Surgery

If medications are not effective for treating your glaucoma, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to help relieve the built-up fluid that puts pressure on your optic nerve. There are several types of laser surgery and microsurgery that can have benefit for those with glaucoma. Talk with your doctor to find out if you’re a candidate for these treatments.

5. Practice Good Self-Care

Remaining in good health overall can make a positive impact on your vision and your glaucoma prognosis. This means eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet and exercising regularly if your doctor says that it’s safe for you to do so. Make sure to drink enough fluids and limit your salt intake to avoid additional fluid buildup.

Avoid rubbing your eyes; if you wear cosmetics, be careful to use those that are hypoallergenic. If you do not have glaucoma, getting screened regularly for the disease is critical, since early detection can make a huge difference in your prognosis. See your eye doctor regularly to have a glaucoma screening as well as other tests to protect your vision.

This is especially important if you are in a high risk group, such as older than age 40 or with a family history of the disease.