Living with glaucoma

Doing sport with glaucoma

Doing sports is possible and advisable because it drops the intraocular pressure whilst doing them.

No activity is contra-indicated except for a month following surgical operation for glaucoma, particularly any direct shock to the operated eye, any contact with water or swimming. Certain violent or extreme sports may have to be avoided; our ophthalmologist will advise you.

Scuba diving is allowed.  However, in case of accident or inexperience, the eyes can be subjected to high pressure. Patients predisposed to narrow angle glaucoma need to have a laser operation prior to scuba diving.

Alpinism is not contra-indicated except in extreme conditions of hypoxia (rarefaction of oxygen in the air in high altitude), where the consequences to the optic nerve are unknown and its better to be prudent.

Driving with glaucoma

For most cases of glaucoma treated in time, driving is possible. Only in cases of very advanced glaucoma with a binocular visual filed very narrowed, driving becomes difficult and dangerous.

We must not forget that after an ophthalmological consultation when pupillary dilatation is necessary one must not drive afterwards.

Is Glaucoma a disabling disease?

Glaucoma is a frequent disease but, fortunately, the risk of blindness is low if diagnosis is made early. Visual handicap from glaucoma is increasingly rare.  In the last few years, the improvement in patient care has improved the prognosis.

In a few serious cases or in the absence of diagnosis and treatment, glaucoma can lead to blindness.

When glaucoma is detected and treated early and with proper follow-up, the prognosis is very good.

Visual re-education

In general, re-education cannot ameliorate the visual function in glaucoma. The optic nerve, when injured by glaucoma, no longer transfers the images to the brain and neural tissue once injured cannot be repaired with re-education. Nevertheless, a particular form of re-education: that of “low vision” can, in some cases of very advanced glaucoma, help the patient use the maximum of the remaining visual field.

The systems for re-education including loupes, telescopic systems, television cameras can improve the quality of life.