Glaucoma nursing care or glaucoma nursing care is the principle and steps of care for people who have glaucoma. Because, people with glaucoma really need the help of others to carry out daily activities.
The eye has a main nerve that is important for the process of vision, which is called the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a disease that attacks the nerve. The first sign of glaucoma is the loss of the ability to see from the side (peripheral vision). This condition is generally accompanied by an increase in eye pressure (intraocular pressure), although under certain conditions this pressure can be normal. If not treated immediately, over time it will lead to blindness.
To confirm glaucoma, the doctor will perform a physical examination, especially on the eyes. If necessary, the doctor will recommend the patient to see an ophthalmologist.
The ophthalmologist will then conduct further examinations regarding the possibility of glaucoma. Next, the doctor will check the severity. Then, there are other examinations carried out to determine damage to the eye.
When in the hospital, the nurse will carry out nursing care as regulated by medical procedures. But when you are at home, then you as a family member will do it. For that, you need to know the types of examinations carried out by doctors at the hospital, in order to better understand the condition of family members who suffer or are suspected of suffering from glaucoma. These checks are:
- Eye pressure check (tonometry)This examination is done to determine the pressure in the eye. If the eye pressure is high, it means that there is a high risk of suffering from the disease. At the time of this examination, the patient requires local anesthesia to reduce discomfort. This test uses an instrument called a tonometer.
- Examination of the vestibule of the eye (gonioscopy)In addition to tonometry, the patient will also be asked to undergo a gonioscopy examination. This examination is performed in the front chamber of the eye, between the cornea and the iris, also known as the anterior chamber. This is where the eye fluid usually comes out. This examination also aims to determine whether the area is closed or not, so that the ophthalmologist can determine whether glaucoma is classified as open-angle or closed-angle.
- Visual field check (perimetry)This examination is intended to check for areas of vision that may be missing. The patient will be asked to focus on a certain point with a certain visual location. Then the doctor will assess how wide the field of view is, if you have difficulty seeing in the peripheral area, then it is possible that the person has glaucoma.
- Optic nerve examinationThis examination is intended to examine the optic nerve, which is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. The trick, the eyes will be examined using light from a special tool called slit lamp a microscope that has a bright light. The eye will also be given eye drops to enlarge the pupil. This makes inspection easier.
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT) examinationThis examination aims to detect any damage to the retina or optic nerve due to glaucoma. The trick is to use a special light to scan the back of the eye.
Understanding Glaucoma Treatment
Generally, glaucoma treatment is carried out according to its type as early as possible, but in principle the treatment is aimed at lowering eye pressure. Among them through the provision of eye drops. For glaucoma patients, eye drops can cause discomfort. For example, cause eye irritation. You may need to try several types of eye drops before you find the right one, or use more than one type at a time.
Eye drops for glaucoma patients are generally used about 1-4 times a day. Do it according to the doctor's recommendations, even if the patient does not experience eye problems.
If glaucoma symptoms do not improve, your doctor may recommend laser treatment or surgery. This is done to overcome the increase in eye pressure and save the function of vision. For this procedure, it can be done under local anesthesia around the eye or general anesthesia which makes the patient unconscious during the operation.
Tips for Caring for Glaucoma Patients
For those of you who are in a position as the person in charge of glaucoma, you should pay attention to the following:
- Provide visual aids if the patient needs to watch something or read. You can provide the tool with a video display size zoom system or reading material.
- When the patient needs to see something better, make sure there is sufficient light. For example, by providing more light on the object to be seen by the patient.
- Make sure the items in the house, do not cause harm or injury to the patient. Indicate that in the household there are stairs or large objects that may hinder the patient's movement. Tell the patient the location of the objects.
In addition, if there is a family or relative experiencing glaucoma, also pay attention to the following things as the right glaucoma prescription:
- Limit caffeine consumptionConsuming drinks containing caffeine, especially in large or frequent amounts, is believed to increase eye pressure. It is better to replace drinks with healthy and safe drinks, such as water.
- Eat healthy foodAlthough it can not directly prevent the worsening of glaucoma. However, the vitamins and nutrients found in healthy foods can help maintain eye health. These nutrients, for example, omega 3 fatty acids.
- Sleep with your head higher than your bodyTo avoid excessive pressure on the eyes, make sure the position of the head when sleeping is higher than the body. Adjust the position so that the head is raised about 20 degrees from the surface of the bed. Use a pillow to prop your head up.
- Using or taking medicationDo not forget to use eye drops or make sure the patient has taken prescription medication. These drugs aim to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Use the appropriate dose.
- Choose the right sportSport does have many good sides. Pressure on the eyes can be reduced by doing regular exercise. However, it is important to determine the right type of exercise. Types of exercise that need to be avoided, especially if there is a head below heart position, such as yoga. Consult a doctor about the right exercise to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients.
Doing glaucoma surgery is not easy. You have to be more patient with it. Moreover, people with glaucoma usually have unstable emotional conditions. Consultation with the treating doctor for other glaucoma prescriptions if necessary.