January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Recent studies have shown that more than half of the glaucoma patients skip or improperly administer their medications.- MDA

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States. When glaucoma is treated in its early stages, vision loss can be prevented. Yet, studies show that more than half of glaucoma patients do not adhere to their prescribed treatment plans due to factors including difficulty in applying eye drops, lack of medication education and forgetfulness. In support of Glaucoma Awareness Month this January, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is providing patients six tips to help them overcome medication challenges:

  1. Be honest with your ophthalmologist about your medication difficulties. Missed a dose? It may not seem to matter much, but research shows that skipping doses can cause your glaucoma to become more severe.  Be candid with your ophthalmologist about any problems you face in taking your medicine regularly, and ask about the best way to make up for a missed dose. The more you tell your doctor, the better he or she can help you find ways to customize your treatment plan to make it more manageable for your lifestyle. 
  2. Ask for help from health professionals and loved ones. It can be difficult to keep track of which meds to take and when. Talk with your ophthalmologist or pharmacist about your medications, their impact and possible side effects. Also, use the buddy system and tell your friends, family and caregivers about your condition and treatments. Consider taking a loved one or caregiver with you to your ophthalmology appointments, so they can help you follow your treatment plan when you’re at home. They may also be able to help you apply your eye drops at home. 
  3. Use memory aids.  The most common reason for not taking eye drops is forgetfulness. Try simple memory aids like linking your eye drop schedule to other things you do routinely. For example, put your eye drop bottle next to your toothbrush or your pill box if you take other medications. Try using physical reminders such as marking off a calendar when you use your drops, or moving your eye drop bottle from one place to another after you’ve applied your drops. Also, take advantage of today’s technology and set an alarm on your phone to help you make your medication a part of your daily routine, or look for free smartphone apps and other tools……..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               More: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-than-half-of-people-with-glaucoma-skip-or-improperly-administer-medications-risking-permanent-vision-loss-300018740.html              Source: PRN Newswiire