Frequently Asked Questions About Restoration Counseling For Glaucoma Patients

I had been feeling lost ever since I went on a routine executive checkup, and the doctor told me to have my eyes checked as well since my mother had been diagnosed with glaucoma around 26 years old – the same age I was at the time. Like an obedient patient, I did as the doctor advised, confident that they would not find an issue with my eyes. I had gone to ophthalmology clinics for prescription glasses before, but the eye doctor assured me that I had 20/20 vision, so there would be no need for that. I felt lucky about it, considering I was a graphic artist and needed to use the computer all day long.

After waiting for the test results, the doctor informed me gently that I had glaucoma and that 20% of my left eye was no longer functioning. I sat there motionless for five minutes, wondering if it was a dream. However, the doctor’s voice brought me back to reality. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “How did that happen? My vision was 20/20.”

The doctor explained that it was possible for the devices in eye prescription clinics not to detect anything wrong with the patients’ eyes, but it did not mean that nothing’s wrong. He proceeded to say that even his own mother only got reading glasses back then, although she also had glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a slow-progressing condition that many people do not realize they have. They sometimes attribute blurry vision and headache to stress and other factors. Still, they never think that it’s because the optic nerve connecting the brain and eyes has been getting damaged due to fluid buildup inside the eyes,” the doctor added.

“Is there a cure for this?”

The doctor shook his head slowly. “Unfortunately, the optic damage is irreversible at the moment. All you can do is lessen the activities that require you to strain your eyes too much.”

Since then, I had been living in utter denial. I did not tell anyone about the eye diagnosis. I acted as if I was perfectly healthy. However, I always felt frustrated whenever my eyes would turn blurry, to the extent that I threw my laptop against the wall one time. 

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What Made Me Change

One time, my boyfriend told me that he had a new favorite show on Netflix called Blown Away. I watched it out of sheer curiosity – and because my boyfriend was hogging the TV. When we began to watch the second season, though, I paid more attention as one of the glassblowers revealed that she had glaucoma. The extreme heat that the woman had to deal with every day was not helping slow down its progression further. In truth, it was making things worse for her. Despite that, she was still bubbly and happy because she loved making art out of glass.

That woman inspired me to undergo counseling to restore my confidence and mental resilience.

Is there a difference between therapy and counseling? 

 Yes, therapy and counseling are different from each other. The former typically occurs longer than the latter.

Does Counselling work? 

 Yes, counseling works. It has already helped millions of people deal with their mental health issues across the globe. However, its effectiveness depends on the client’s level of cooperation, considering the counselor can only provide advice and guidance, not resolve their problems for them.

Is crying in therapy a breakthrough? 

 Yes, mental health professionals consider crying as a breakthrough in therapy. Though the therapist may pause the session and let the client cry it all out, it entails making progress.

Can therapy make you worse? 

Yes, therapy can technically make you worse, even though it is supposed to do the opposite. That happens when you go to an unreliable therapist who does not know how to conduct therapy.

Can Counselling do more harm than good? 

 No. In truth, counseling can ideally make your life better. However, it may do you more harm than good if you end up meeting the wrong type of counselor.

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When should you stop therapy? 

  • You have learned everything you can from the therapist regarding coping and dealing with your issues.
  • You no longer feel like the therapist can help you.
  • Your life is too chaotic for you to be able to focus on therapy.
  • You want to let go of that life chapter and move on.

Is it normal to cry in therapy? 

 Yes, it is normal to cry in therapy. It typically happens when the client talks about their issues or experiences enlightenment or emotional relief.

What should I not tell a marriage counselor? 

 For marriage counseling to work, you should not hide any information concerning your marital issues from the counselor. Some facts may be downright shameful, but you need to let it all out to increase your chances of achieving your goals.

Can therapists hug their clients? 

 No, therapists cannot hug their clients. That is against the ethical code.

Do therapists cry in therapy? 

 Yes, therapists tend to cry in therapy. They need to open their emotional channels to help their clients, so it’s impossible for them not to feel their clients’ pain and empathize with them.

Do therapists get attached to clients? 

 Yes, some therapists get attached to clients, especially when they have had sessions for a long time.

Do therapists miss their patients? 

 Yes, therapists can miss their patients, but it depends on how emotionally connected they are.

Should therapists comfort crying clients? 

 Technically, therapists cannot comfort crying clients by hugging them or promising that everything will be okay. It is against ethical codes, but it may also make the clients depend on the therapists too much.

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Final Thoughts

The process of accepting that I had an irreversible eye condition was not as challenging as I thought. Perhaps it was because I had my boyfriend and my family giving me all the love and support I needed when I finally announced the diagnosis to them. Maybe it was also because I found a counselor and a therapist who both wanted nothing more than see me happy and clearheaded after every session. Despite all that, I ended up making peace with myself that glaucoma would always be there – all I had to do was follow the doctor’s suggestions on keeping it from progressing too fast.

 

 

Better Eye Condition, Sound Mental Health

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In our world today, it has been more and more common for people to experience different types of eye diseases. Of course, no matter how careful we are, we can never know how other people take care of themselves. With the pandemic today, we should understand and educate ourselves more about protecting ourselves from diseases as best as we can. This is not just limited to the usual things like flu, stomach bugs, or headaches. You should also take the time to take care of your eyes.

Continue reading “Better Eye Condition, Sound Mental Health”

Caring For Our Eyes Is Also Caring For The Family

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Our sense of sight is one important aspect of our body that we need to take care of. And we are really lucky to be born with perfect vision, unlike others who may be born with certain kinds of eye issues or diseases. This is why our parents or elders always reminds us to take good care of our health especially our eyes.

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Eye Conditions And Care During The Pandemic

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Our eyes can be considered as the most developed organs in our body. But we often neglect and forget how to take care of our eyes. Usually, we forget that prolonged exposure to computer screens and mobile phones may cause a negative effect on our eyes. But when we notice some vision problems one way or another, we will find any way just to be able to see again.

Continue reading “Eye Conditions And Care During The Pandemic”

Eye Surgery Cancelled Due To COVID-19

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My grandmother is 85 years old, and she has a cataract. She had a scheduled operation for her eyes last April 1st, which was canceled due to the pandemic. Now, she had to live with the blurry left eye, during a mediocrely functioning right eye. I did not have it in my heart to put her in a home. That was what I promised my mother before she passed away three years ago. I told her that I would take care of Grams, and I have been not because of a promise. It was because I loved her dearly.

Continue reading “Eye Surgery Cancelled Due To COVID-19”

Staying Healthy

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Attending the 2019 Health Conference made me realize how important health is. Most of the time, we often take this for granted, especially when we are doing okay at the moment. Eating healthy foods or maintaining healthy habits often just come across our mind whenever we encounter health troubles, right? Unless we are health buffs, I’m sure people can significantly benefit from attending health conferences like this. It would help us remind that health is among the most critical aspects of our life. That if being taken for granted, many things will be at stake.

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Slowing Down The Progression Of Glaucoma

 

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As we grow older, we begin to get anxious about our health, including our eye health. Maybe it was because our latest eye exam showed an increasing pressure and redness in both eyes, or perhaps a close relative was just diagnosed with glaucoma. Did someone tell you that glaucoma is a hereditary eye condition? If you already know this, then you also know you might need to take the necessary steps to prevent or slow down the progression of this eye condition.

Glaucoma Defined

It is an eye disease that destroys the optic nerve, which is responsible for sending impulses from the eye to the brain. When this is damaged, then the odds are likely that you will eventually lose your vision.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, at 65 years old, one out of three Americans will be diagnosed with a damaging eye condition. And second to cataract, glaucoma is the second most common cause of vision loss across the United States. It is also one of the leading causes of blindness all over the world.

The primary cause of glaucoma is unknown, but increased eye pressure is said to be the most common factor. If it is left without any medical care, this eye condition will ultimately lead to blindness.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

It should be noted that there might be a higher likelihood for other individuals to develop glaucoma. Some of the risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Past history of eye injury
  • Thin cornea
  • Existing conditions such as migraines, diabetes, and poor blood circulation

Developing two or more of these risk factors significantly heightens a person’s risk of developing glaucoma.

 

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Tips to Slow Down The Progression Of Glaucoma

Unfortunately, there is no known prevention of glaucoma. However, there are steps that we can take to slow down the progression of the disease and consequently reducing the risk of eye damage or vision loss.

  • Don’t Miss Your Regular Eye Checkups. This is essential in preventing glaucoma and other equally severe eye conditions. Routine eye examinations are a must. For glaucoma to be properly confirmed and diagnosed, the doctor conducts screening and inspects the drainage angle in both eyes. He will also check the status of the optic nerve and do a peripheral vision test. People who fail to have routine eye exams and develop glaucoma typically become aware of it only after they’ve sustained permanent vision loss from the disease. And by that time, controlling glaucoma to prevent additional vision loss can be very difficult, explains Gary Heiting, OD.

Below is a list of age ranges and the number of times one is required to go for eye examinations.

Below 40 years old: once in five to ten years

40-54 years old: once in two to four years

55-64 years old: once in one to three years

65 years and older: once every one or two years

However, if your odds of developing glaucoma are relatively higher, then you must talk to your ophthalmologist about your screening schedules.

 

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  • Find Ways To Reduce Eye Pressure. For individuals who have developed increased eye pressure or ocular hypertension, consult your doctor so he can prescribe quality eye drops that you can use regularly to slow down the progression of glaucoma. According to Dr. Norm Zabriskie, MD, a glaucoma expert at the Moran Eye Center, “there have been multiple, very large, very well-designed and well-conducted studies both in the United States and in Europe and elsewhere…have fundamentally proven that lowering intraocular pressure, though not a cure, is absolutely beneficial in terms of either stopping or at least delaying the progression of glaucoma.”

The Glaucoma Foundation suggests that exercise is a great way to decrease eye pressure. They may walk or do light jogging three times a week.

According to Robert L. Stamper, MD, professor  of Clinical Ophthalmology and Director Emeritus of the Glaucoma Service at the University of California San Francisco, “a regular program of moderate exercise will benefit your overall health, and studies have shown that moderate exercise such as walking or jogging three or more times every week can have an IOP lowering effect.

  • Avoid Eye Injuries. Protecting your eyes from injury can greatly help avoid or delay the onset of glaucoma. In the home, keep away from too much dust when cleaning is done. When doing sports, keep your eye injury-free by wearing protective gear.

These tips are basic but nevertheless vital in ensuring the health of your eyes. Practicing them may be your hope for zero eye damage until you’re 60 and older. Why not?

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Time And Eye Health

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It is not just you and me that spend a lot of time looking at the screen such as on television, tablets, computers, and smartphones. Pretty much everybody is doing it regularly without noticing the danger of losing one’s vision. We know that it can significantly impact our health, but most of us tend to ignore the threat. According to Katherine Dahlsgaard, PhD, there is a mental health impact of excessive screen time and offers advice for setting limits. Model moderate screen use as a parent. Show your children, with your own behavior, how to live a rich, varied and healthy life where all habits are practiced in moderation.

Reasonably,  it is an opportunity for us to consider taking care of our eyesight.

The Importance Of Understanding

It is not enough that we only know the possible things that might happen if we continue making unhealthy habits that damage our eyes. A lot of us are well-aware of that. However, not all people are open to the idea of taking care of their vision. That explains why some people still use their contact lenses more than the required hours. Some individuals often use their smartphones late at night. Some are even spending too much time in front of the computer without taking breaks as well. You see, people are stubborn that they do not seem to care what could happen to their health until things are a bit too late. That is the reason why when they only have a limited time to save their eye health, they try to do everything no matter what. It is ironic because no one with better eyesight is working on a list of proper eye care. Well, I think they are too confident to believe that they will never lose or damage their vision even if they habitually work on their bad routines.

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Sad Reality

Honestly, no one gets immediate dysfunctional eyes. It always takes a lot of time before something appears damaged. That gives people enough time to do whatever they want regardless of the habit harmful. Yes, if someone is spending time with his phone for more than ten hours a day, and can last the screen time up to seven days a week, with the span of three months, who would think that something terrible could happen? There is this people’s mentality that if they can maximize the eyesight’s usage without feeling pain, then things are still good. People believe that if something is not causing them unusual situations, there is nothing to worry about.

Another unfortunate reality this generation faces is the mental impact brought about by excessive screen time. “Children and adolescents who spent more time using screen media were lower in psychological well-being than low users. High users of screens were significantly more likely to display poor emotion regulation (not staying calm, arguing too much, being difficult to get along with), an inability to finish tasks, lower curiosity, and more difficulty making friends,” from the research of Dr. Jean Twenge, PhD, and Dr. W. Keith Campbell, PhD.

Insight

Our eyes are sensitive; that is why it is essential to frequently consider taking a break from any digital use and activity. It will not hurt us if we lessen our screen time. It will not create a massive complication when we put our phones away for a couple of hours. It will not even make us suffer if we go to bed without checking our gadgets before going to sleep. You see, it all takes a change of habit to ensure our visions are in better health. We have to give our eyes a chance to move away from too much pressure and stress.

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Keeping our eyes safe and healthy is something that we can always do. Expert Dr. Anthony Fallone expresses the link between eyes and a person’s personality. He says, “The eye is so closely linked neurologically to the brain that you might call it the only part of our brain you can see from the outside. It seems to hold vital clues to our brain function.” As long we know and value the importance of our eyesight, we can have time to spare it from the damaging habits.

What Causes Blurry Vision?

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There are a wide variety of eyesight problems that perhaps a lot of people are experiencing differently. There is the case of cataract, dilated pupils, crossed eyes, color blindness, and many more. But what most people are sharing the same is the condition of having a blurry vision.

“As organisms age, all their biological systems should be expected to break down and fail with increasing regularity, and eyes are no exception,” wrote Jesse Marczyk, PhD. “So what might explain why human visual acuity appears so lackluster early in life (to the tune of over 20 percent of teenagers using corrective lenses)? There are a number of possible explanations we might entertain.”

Perhaps that is due to the unhealthy practices that a lot of people do daily. It might include the pressure of spending too much time on mobile devices and bright screens. Anyhow, let’s take a closer understanding of what causes blurry vision.

Factors That Cause Blurry Vision

Refractive Errors

Some refractive eye errors result in the condition such as nearsightedness or the inability to see things from afar. There is also farsightedness which is the opposite of the latter. Then lastly, astigmatism where there is an irregularity on the surface of the eye’s cornea. All of these conditions are not at all severe and can get easily corrected with the help of glasses and specific contact lenses. But note, it is essential to consult an eye care professional before using any types of correcting-contact lenses and eyeglasses. That is to prevent the condition from getting worse.

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Eye Diseases

Some types of eye diseases may cause blurry vision. These include ocular migraine, dry eyes, eye floaters, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and more. Any of these health conditions significantly contribute to the unclear vision. It is essential to consult a health professional about these specific cases to address the underlying issues that go along with it. Note that other factors can contribute to these eye diseases. So taking time in understanding all of them is as essential as well.

Change In prescription

As much as individuals desire to disregard the fact that drugs cannot affect their vision, well, it can. The individual who takes a drug prescription that suddenly changes the dosage or drug type is more likely to experience a blurry vision. That is due to some of the medicine’s content that appears to stop the eye from producing water. The side effects of every drug vary, though. But it is crucial to seek an eye expert when there is a sudden vision change every time there is an instant replacement of medication.

Source: allaboutvision.com

Blood Sugar Is High

Having diabetes for an extended period can cause blurry vision. The particular condition is what we call diabetic retinopathy. It is the state where high blood glucose level damages the eye cells and prevents the blood vessels from delivering enough oxygen to the veins of the eyes. Usually, there are no symptoms of eye protein leak that one can notice. However, the loss of nutrients to the part of the retina signals the body to form new weak blood vessels. That explains why diabetic individuals often suffer from eye swelling and bleeding inside the eye.

 

Consultant psychiatrist Raj Persaud, FRCPsych, also wrote, “In a high stakes situation, as when even small deviations in visual acuity can have catastrophic career consequences, such as being a pilot, it is possible that people with a background of anxiety or depression, get more worked up about their eyesight.”

There seems to be a connection between emotions and eyesight. Carol Look, LCSW, DCH, did a study answering the question, “Is it possible for a person with a vision problem to improve their eyesight by using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)?” There were limitations to the study, nonetheless, her results reported that “nearly 75% of participants in this study indicated that an improvement occurred in their vision during and by the end of the study.”

Whatever the cause is, it is vital to ensure that the eye receives the right amount of balance. So if any way some of these causes seem to get worse seek an eye expert immediately.