Glaucoma can be challenging to manage, whether you suffer from glaucoma or are a caregiver of a glaucoma patient. November is National Family Caregivers Month, and glaucoma is one disease that often requires the assistance of a caregiver. Because there is no cure for glaucoma, it requires a strong three-fold bond between the patient, caregiver and ophthalmologist to monitor the patient’s vision and treatment plan.
The main objective in managing glaucoma is maintaining a safe level of intraocular (inner eye) pressure. Increased intraocular pressure places stress on the optic nerve, which can result in permanent eye damage. One of the standard glaucoma treatments is medicated eye drops, which must be administered at specific intervals every day to lower intraocular pressure. Topical drops can be effective when they are used as directed, but patients often forget to administer their eye drops or they may administer them incorrectly.
Due to the time-intensive nature of this eye disease, researchers have been trying to develop technology that will make managing glaucoma a little easier. The September issue of the Journal of Glaucoma published results of a recent survey that gathered interest among glaucoma patients and their caregivers for an app on their smartphone or tablet called the Glaucoma App.
The Glaucoma App was developed by Wills Eye Glaucoma Research Center and Drexel University. It has many helpful features such as educational videos, eye drop reminders, appointment reminders, medical data storage, a visual field tutorial, and intraocular pressure tracker. Functioning as a “treatment plan hub,” the Glaucoma App gathers all information in a single location for the ease of patients and their caregivers (Source: Eye Doc News).
The developers of the Glaucoma App hope that this new tool will help patients and their caregivers follow eye drop regimens more precisely, remember follow-up appointments and stay up-to-date on glaucoma news. If you are having trouble managing your glaucoma treatment plan, look for the free Glaucoma App in the iTunes store. Your ophthalmologist may also have some helpful tips as well, so schedule a check-up soon.