How to Cope and Live With Glaucoma

If you are facing a glaucoma diagnosis, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. More than 2.2 million Americans aged 40 and older have glaucoma. Don't limit your life because of glaucoma, since it can be managed with the help of an eye care professional. In fact, for the majority of glaucoma patients, life does not change, with the exception of more frequent healthcare provider’s visits and proper use of medications. Know that there is a tremendous amount of ongoing research for glaucoma and many supportive resources for people who develop it.

Coping With Glaucoma, illustration shows information, talking on the phone with a healthcare provider, a support group, medications with daily activities (toothbrushing), eye drops being used, and a calendar for an appointment

Verywell / Mira Norian

Take Care of Your Vision

As a glaucoma patient, you should first understand how important it is to keep all of your appointments with your eye healthcare provider. Every appointment with your glaucoma healthcare provider gives him or her valuable information on how to effectively treat your glaucoma. Frequent appointments may seem insignificant to you, but they are extremely significant for your vision. Your healthcare provider may ask you to return weekly or monthly until the glaucoma is under control.

Understand Your Condition

For people with glaucoma, it is often difficult to accept the diagnosis, because most types of glaucoma progress very slowly, often without symptoms. Educate yourself as much as possible about the disease. The better informed you are of your condition, the easier it will be to manage. If you come across something you don't understand, write it down. Healthcare providers welcome patients with questions. They are usually eager to listen to any concerns you may have. If a medication is causing unwanted side effects, let your healthcare provider know. There may be many alternatives.

Manage Your Medications

Take your medications exactly as prescribed. Schedule your medications around daily activities, such as brushing your teeth or around mealtimes, so that it becomes a habitual part of your life. Missed doses of your glaucoma medications could elevate your eye pressure and worsen your glaucoma. In addition, be sure to let your healthcare provider know about any other eye drops or oral medications you begin taking, since some medications should not be taken together.

Reach Out for Support

Remember that you are not alone. Find ways to talk to others about your condition. A medical diagnosis can be emotionally disturbing, especially a diagnosis of a chronic medical problem that may require a lifetime of treatment. Talking about your condition with family members, friends, church members, or support groups can make a tremendous difference in your emotional health. You are also join other glaucoma patients, families, and friends online in the support groups listed at

A Word From Verywell

If you feel that your glaucoma is becoming more severe, pay attention to your instincts. Certain activities, such as driving or playing sports, may become more challenging for you as time goes by. Loss of contrast sensitivity, problems with glare, and light sensitivity are some of the possible effects of glaucoma that may interfere with some activities such as driving at night. If you find it difficult to see at night, consider changing your driving habits or letting your spouse or friends do the driving. Putting your personal safety first may require you to rearrange your daily schedule. However, keep in mind that it will be worth it for your own safety and the safety of others.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD
Troy L. Bedinghaus, OD, board-certified optometric physician, owns Lakewood Family Eye Care in Florida. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association.