Managing Your Glaucoma Appointment: Questions to Ask Your Consultant Ophthalmologist
Regular check-ups with a consultant ophthalmologist are essential to monitor your condition and ensure that the best course of action is taken. It is clinically advised that those who are living with glaucoma should see an ophthalmologist at least once every 12 months to monitor their condition.
To make the most out of your appointment, it's important to come prepared with questions that can help you understand your condition, treatment options and overall eye health. In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of questions to ask your consultant ophthalmologist during your glaucoma appointment.
Understanding Your Glaucoma
What type of glaucoma do I have? There are several types of glaucoma, including primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Understanding your specific type is important for determining the most appropriate treatment.
What is the current status of my condition?
It's essential to know the stage and progression of your glaucoma. Your ophthalmologist can provide insights into whether your condition is stable, improving, or worsening. They will provide bespoke advice on the treatment required and how you can help to slow the progression by making lifestyle changes.
What is my intraocular pressure (IOP)?
Elevated IOP is a significant risk factor for glaucoma. It’s useful for you to know your IOP levels, if there has been an increase you may be asked to make lifestyle changes to help bring the pressure down. This can help effectiveness of your treatment.
What is my target IOP?
Your ophthalmologist may have a target IOP range in mind for your treatment. Understanding this goal can help you gauge the success of your management plan.
Treatment Options and Medications
What are the available treatment options for my glaucoma? Learn about the various treatment options, including medications, laser therapy and surgical interventions. Your consultant will advise on the treatment that they advise based on you and your condition. But it’s worth knowing what other treatments are available to have the discussion with your ophthalmologist.
What are the potential side effects of my glaucoma medications?
Some glaucoma treatments may have potential side effects. It's important to know these of any medications you are prescribed to manage your glaucoma. This ensures that you don’t get concerned when an unexpected side effect may occur.
How do I properly administer my eye drops?
Ask for detailed instructions on how to apply your eye drops correctly to ensure that they are as effective as possible. Some people with glaucoma occasionally struggle to apply eye drops, so receiving advice could really benefit you. You can also read our eye drop blog here
Are there any new treatments or medications that I should consider?
New glaucoma treatments are always being worked on with several clinical trials under way. Stay informed about recent advancements in glaucoma management and inquire if any new options might be suitable for your condition.
Lifestyle and Management
Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to improve my eye health? Diet, exercise and stress management can all play a role in managing your glaucoma. Ask for guidance on lifestyle modifications. You can read our useful blog here
Should I be concerned about other eye conditions in addition to glaucoma?
Many eye conditions can coexist with glaucoma. Discuss the risk factors and potential complications. Your ophthalmologist will be able to talk you through any other potential conditions and offer advice on symptoms and conditions that are commonly associated with glaucoma such as dry eye.
What is my follow-up schedule?
Understanding when you should return for follow-up appointments is crucial for keeping your glaucoma under control. It is clinically advised that you should be monitored by a consultant ophthalmologist at least once every 12 months, but if they feel that it should be more frequent, for example if you have started a new treatment and they’d like to monitor the effects after 6 months, they will make you aware.
Can you provide information on support groups or resources for individuals with glaucoma?
Connecting with others who have glaucoma can be beneficial for sharing experiences and finding emotional support. There are some incredible charities such as Glaucoma UK who offer support services such as their Buddy Scheme.
Your ophthalmologist will also be able to make you aware of any other resources such as local Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs).
What is the long-term prognosis for my glaucoma? Understand what to expect in terms of your vision and overall eye health over time.
Questions for Clarification
Can you explain that in simpler terms? If you are uncertain about any aspect of your condition or treatment, don't hesitate to ask for a simpler explanation.
Is there anything else I should know or consider about my glaucoma?
Give your ophthalmologist the opportunity to provide additional insights or advice regarding your condition.
Remember that your consultant ophthalmologist is there to support you in managing your glaucoma and preserving your vision. It's essential to actively participate in your care by asking questions and seeking clarification. Open communication with your healthcare provider is a key factor in successfully managing glaucoma and ensuring the best possible outcome for your eye health.
OcuPlan helps those living with glaucoma by providing cost effective regular consultant ophthalmologist appointments with no delays. For more information, please visit www.ocuplan.co.uk/glaucoma