Glaucoma treatments can prevent vision loss and blindness, but many patients still experience problems like double vision (diplopia) and strabismus (misaligned eyes), which can interfere with their quality of life.
To better understand the factors that affect quality of life after treatment for glaucoma, researchers at the Mayo Clinic analyzed 160 glaucoma patients whose average age was 69.
The findings confirmed that patients who experienced double vision as a result of glaucoma, or its treatment, had poorer quality of life. So did patients with more severe glaucoma in either eye and those whose overall visual acuity was lower to start off with.
The results, which were reported in JAMA Ophthalmology in 2018, also found that people who had drainage tubes implanted surgically to reduce the pressure in their eyes had lower quality of life. Psychological questionnaires that were part of the study design suggested that drainage tubes made people feel self-conscious.
Its important to remember that without treatment, people with glaucoma lose vision and may eventually become blind. Still, the findings should help patients and doctors recognize that there may be some quality of life issues that should be considered before and after glaucoma treatment.