Quality of life and glaucoma

The majority of glaucoma patients and in particular those who received an early diagnosis and  effective treatment will pursue  a healthy, normal life. They should not worry about the spectre of visual disability or blindness. At least, if they adhere to regular follow up and rigorously respect the therapeutic regimens.  

Unlike patients with early glaucoma who are asymptomatic, patient with moderate to severe glaucoma are bothered by a number of visual disturbances: glare, poor night sight, diminished contrast sensitivity and hence difficulties to make the transition from bright light to darkness and vice versa. Although these patients often still satisfy the legal requirements for the drivers’ licence, it is wise for them to switch to public transport in difficult situations such as driving at night, in  heavy rain or in foggy weather. Patients with advanced glaucoma who no longer satisfy the criteria for the drivers’ licence, may contact the Centrum voor Rijgeschiktheid en voertuigaanpassing (CARA) in order to pass a practical test to evaluate their fitness to drive. CARA is entitled to provide successful candidates with a valid drivers’licence, often with specific restrictions (CARA@vias.be).

The independence of glaucoma patients with low vision or blindness may be  greatly enhanced by the use of appropriate tools: low vison aids, adapted software programs, dedicated apps for smartphone (Talkback or Voice over), etc. Optimal rehabilitation is best carried out in a certified Low Vision Centre under the guidance of an eye doctor with special expertise in the field of rehabilitation.