Using Medications Correctly

If you have a headache or back pain, a dose of Tylenol usually takes the pain away and makes you feel better. It is easy to take medications that make you feel better. Did you know that patients with chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol miss doses or take their medication incorrectly up to 50% of the time? The reason that patients don’t do a good job at taking their medications correctly is that these medical conditions have no symptoms, and the medications give no immediate improvement in how the patient feels. Glaucoma is very similar – it has no symptoms and the eye drops don’t improve the vision or make the eye feel better. In fact, the drops sometimes cause a little eye redness and irritation. Medical studies show that many patients with glaucoma don’t use their eye drops, forgetting doses regularly and in some cases not using the drops at all! The only way you can beat glaucoma is by being a good patient and consistently using your drops correctly. If you miss a dose the eye pressure will increase and you have an increased risk of developing nerve damage. To try to improve your consistency with eye drop medication use, time the doses with some of your daily routine activities. For example, use a morning eye drop when you brush your teeth, or take an evening eye drop with dinner. Keep your eye drop bottle out on the counter in your bathroom, or kitchen where you can see it as a reminder to use it regularly. If you continue to have difficulty using the drops regularly, please be open and honest with your doctor so he can make other recommendations for your treatment. It is important for him to know if you are using the medications correctly.

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