Opening up about a medical condition with your family and friends might feel stressful or overwhelming. When it comes to sharing your glaucoma diagnosis, you may experience those emotions and also anticipate concerns and questions from your loved ones. However, even if it is tempting to keep your diagnosis to yourself, it is important to understand that opening up about your condition is beneficial not only for your mental health but to your overall quality of life as well. It can also help to provide you with much-needed support throughout your glaucoma journey. That being said, take all the time you need before you open up to others, and do not feel pressure to share your diagnosis unless you are comfortable and ready.
Once you have decided to share your glaucoma diagnosis, let your loved ones know you have some important news to tell them. You can discuss your condition whenever or wherever you’re most comfortable – whether that’s during an evening walk, while at the beach, at your home, or over the phone. It can be a quick conversation, or it can be more in-depth. How you choose to open up about your glaucoma is up to you! To help you feel prepared for when those conversations arise, we’re providing some tips for opening up about your diagnosis with your family and friends, as well as the benefits of also seeking online support.
Talking to Family
Whether you have recently been diagnosed with glaucoma or have been coping with it for a while, it might be time to consider confiding in your significant other and/or family. If you are unsure whether you want to share with your loved ones or not, know that family can be an incredibly important support system. In times of need, spouses or relatives can offer help by listening, picking up a prescription for you, or brainstorming questions to ask your eye doctor about your condition. Family can also provide support by driving you to and from your appointments or helping out during your iStent inject® W recovery.
It is a good idea to confide in your family because glaucoma is hereditary, so your relatives may want to get their eyes checked, as well. When opening up to family members, you may learn that a loved one also has glaucoma. If that is the case, sharing your diagnosis and getting the conversation going will help you learn about your family member’s experience with the condition.
Ultimately, when sharing your diagnosis, it’s important to know that your family members will likely have questions for you. To be prepared to answer these questions, plan to do your research on your condition before speaking with them. If you are unclear about your diagnosis, what it means for you, or your treatment options, contact your doctor to learn more.
Confiding in Friends
While friends are great to get together with for social events or fun outings, they can also be a helpful resource during a challenging time. There’s no reason to be nervous about sharing your glaucoma diagnosis with your friends. Chances are, they want to be there for you during your journey. They may even offer to help – whether it’s keeping you company while you recover from your iStent inject® W procedure or checking in over the phone.
As you prepare to confide in your acquaintances, it may be helpful to determine who within your friend circle is the best to share your diagnosis with. If you decide to only share your diagnosis with your closest friends, that’s okay! Alternatively, you may feel comfortable sharing with your entire friend group. Ultimately, it’s your decision who you open up to about your glaucoma and you should do what feels right to you.
Connecting on Social Media
Sometimes, opening up to someone in-person can be difficult. Talking about your condition and expressing your feelings online might feel a little easier since you’re doing it from behind a computer screen, tablet, or cell phone. If you have social media, you can use these platforms to discuss your glaucoma with others, including your friends and family. If sending a message through social media feels simpler to you than having an in-person conversation about your condition, go for it!
Social media is also a great way to connect with others who are going through something similar. When it comes to glaucoma, there are many people seeking answers and support for this condition online, and there are great resources that you may find helpful. These resources and glaucoma support groups allow you to connect with others, hear their stories, and even have a conversation. Some helpful places to start include the American Glaucoma Society, as well as the Living with Glaucoma Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
Tips To Consider When Sharing With Others
When preparing to share your glaucoma diagnosis with loved ones, it’s normal to try to anticipate what their reaction may be. You may expect them to respond a certain way, or you might feel bad if they are worried about you. However, sharing your glaucoma diagnosis with loved ones is an important part of your journey. It will help provide you with the necessary support needed to pursue treatment. Below, we’re sharing tips to consider when sharing your diagnosis with others – check them out!
- Practice What You’ll Say: When telling others about your glaucoma, it may be helpful to rehearse what you’re planning to say. That way, when you are ready to share, you won’t be at a loss for words.
- Be Prepared to Answer Questions: Since your loved ones care about you, they will likely have questions about your condition. Be prepared by learning as much information as you can about glaucoma. This will help you feel ready to answer any questions. If you are unsure of any information yourself, it’s best to contact your doctor.
- Ask for Help: Family and friends can be incredibly helpful. If you are comfortable, ask your loved ones for specific support, such as driving you home from your appointments or keeping you company while you’re recovering from treatment. This will not only benefit you but also allow others to play a role in your journey.
- Offer to Provide Updates: After sharing your glaucoma diagnosis with your loved ones, they may want updates on your condition. Offer to keep family or friends in the loop as you progress through your journey. Chances are, they will take you up on your offer and appreciate it!
Time to Get Talking!
No matter what you decide when it comes to talking to your loved ones, there’s no right or wrong way to share your glaucoma diagnosis. You may only want to confide in one person, or you may decide to announce it online – just do what works best for you. You deserve support throughout your glaucoma journey. Once you share your diagnosis with others, you can focus on your treatment, and ultimately, your health and happiness.
To hear from others who have shared their journeys, read some patient stories here.
PM-US-0936 Rev 1