Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
In most cases, glaucoma doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms until the disease has caused permanent damage. Ask your primary care doctor how often you should see an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) for a comprehensive eye exam and follow that schedule.
If you have any new eye symptoms or vision problems, make an appointment with your ophthalmologist or ask your doctor for a referral.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- List any symptoms you've been having, and for how long.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions with which you've been diagnosed and all medications and supplements you're taking.
- List any history of eye problems, such as vision changes or eye discomfort.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Below are some basic questions to ask your doctor. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- Do I have signs of glaucoma?
- What tests do I need to confirm a diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Do I need to follow any activity restrictions?
- What other self-care measures should I be taking?
- What is the long-term outlook in my case?
- How often should I be seen for follow-up care?
- Should I see a specialist?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
What to expect from your doctor
A doctor who sees you for possible glaucoma is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- Have you had any eye discomfort or vision problems?
- Do you have any other signs or symptoms that concern you?
- Do you have any family history of eye problems, including glaucoma?
- What eye screening tests have you had and when?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you currently taking, including vitamins and supplements?
- Facts about glaucoma. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Glaucoma. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/Glaucoma.xml. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Jacobs DS. Open-angle glaucoma: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, and diagnosis. http://wwwuptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Weizer JS. Angle-closure glaucoma. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23.Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Olitsky SE, et al. Overview of glaucoma in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 20, 2012.
- Jacobs DS. Open-angle glaucoma: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 20, 2012.
- Medication guide. Glaucoma Research Foundation. http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/medication-guide.php. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Glaucoma treatments. National Glaucoma Research. http://www.ahaf.org/glaucoma/treatment/common/. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Glaucoma risk factors and prevention. National Glaucoma Research. http://www.ahaf.org/glaucoma/about/risk.html. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Preventing eye injuries. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/preventing-eye-injuries.cfm. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Healthy living with glaucoma. National Glaucoma Research. http://www.ahaf.org/glaucoma/livingwith/healthyliving.html. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Low vision resources. Glaucoma Research Foundation. http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/low-vision-resources.php. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Alternative medicine. Glaucoma Research Foundation. http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/alternative-medicine.php. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 4, 2012.