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"Why should I use glaucoma eye drops if I don’t have any symptoms?"
Glaucoma is a “silent” disease in that you usually will not feel any pain or notice loss of vision in the early stages. Because vision loss from glaucoma starts with your side vision, you may not notice any symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly.
High eye pressure can damage your optic nerve, resulting in vision loss. Once that damage is done it cannot be reversed. If your eye doctor prescribes medication eye drops, it is important to use your drops each day. The eye drops will only be effective if used correctly and regularly.
Following your doctor’s treatment plan is the best way to protect your vision and take control of your eye health. Doctors call this “adherence,” which means “sticking with the program.” It is important to be completely honest with your doctor about whether you have been using your medication. Your doctor uses this information to make treatment decisions — if your doctor knows you haven’t been taking your medication, he or she can work with you to find a solution to the issue.
Reasons for non-adherence can include:
Ask your eye doctor for educational materials so you can be an informed participant in your treatment plan. Early and effective treatment of glaucoma can preserve your vision.
Article by Anastasios P. Costarides, MD, PhD — the Pamela Humphrey Firman Professor of Ophthalmology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
Last reviewed on October 29, 2017