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Although a diagnosis of glaucoma is not life threatening, it can bring about lifestyle changes and fears for the future. Often, Glaucoma Australia is asked about the advisability of various activities and about how instilling drops can best fit in to daily routines. This page provides some guidelines.

Using your eyes is not harmful and they do not need to be "rested". Reading, writing, sewing, computer work and similar activities all encourage your eyes to focus up close. Focusing like this exercises the muscles inside your eyes as well as those around your eyes. Working the muscles inside your eyes helps the drain in each eye to work more effectively. Aqueous fluid can drain back to the blood stream more easily, encouraging the eye pressure to fall. If your eyes become tired with prolonged concentration, you can rest them periodically - but please don't worry that you have done them any harm. Similarly, longer distance viewing such as driving, watching TV or going to the movies does not harm your eyes.

What about physical activity?

Being physically fit and keeping your weight within a healthy range helps to prevent health problems e.g. heart attacks and diabetes, and is important for your overall well-being.

This help is in two forms: firstly, any measures which maintain the health of all blood vessels (such as avoiding smoking) will enhance the blood vessel nourishment of the optic nerve fibres; and secondly, physical activity actually reduces eye pressure directly for a few hours at least.

Important Reminders
The sooner you start treatment the better

The purpose of all glaucoma treatment is to prevent vision loss, so the sooner you start the better.
 

Attend regular follow-up appointments

Glaucoma is a progressive lifelong disease, therefore, your eye pressure, optic nerve damage and visual field results need ongoing monitoring
 

Tell your family

In many cases, glaucoma is an inherited (genetic) disease that is passed on within families - you are 10x more likely to have glaucoma if you have a direct family member with glaucoma.

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Talk to people who understand

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Wilma's Story

I am 90 years old, and I have had glaucoma for 8 years. I have sensitive eyes and I'm unable to go outside in bright sunlight unless I have someone to assist and guide me. I have also had to change all light globes in my house to a dull light called Led tube light.