3 Glaucoma Nursing Care Plans


Glaucoma or Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) is the result of inadequate drainage of aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye. It is a condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. The increased pressure causes atrophy of the optic nerve and, if untreated, blindness. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life.

There are two primary categories of glaucoma: (1) open-angle and (2) closed-angle (or narrow angle). Chronic open-angle glaucoma is the most common type, accounting for 90% of all glaucoma cases. It develops slowly, may be associated with diabetes and myopia, and may develop in both eyes simultaneously. Chronic glaucoma has no early warning signs, and the loss of peripheral vision occurs so gradually that substantial optic nerve damage can occur before glaucoma is detected.

Narrow-angle, or angle-closure, glaucoma is the less common form and may be associated with eye trauma, various inflammatory processes, and pupillary dilation after the instillation of mydriatic drops. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is manifested by sudden excruciating pain in or around the eye, blurred vision, and ocular redness. This condition constitutes a medical emergency because blindness may suddenly ensue.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning and management for patients with glaucoma include: preventing further visual deterioration, promote adaptation to changes in reduced visual acuity, prevent complications and injury.

Here are three (3) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for glaucoma: 

  1. Disturbed Sensory Perception: Visual
  2. Anxiety
  3. Deficient Knowledge
  4. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans


Nursing Diagnosis

  • Anxiety

May be related to

  • Physiological factors, change in health status; presence of pain; possibility/reality of loss of vision
  • Unmet needs
  • Negative self-talk

Possibly evidence by

  • Apprehension, uncertainty
  • Expressed concern regarding changes in life events

Desired Outcomes

  • Appear relaxed and report anxiety is reduced to a manageable level.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  • Use resources effectively.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Evaluate anxiety level, degree of pain experienced or suddenness of onset of symptoms, and current knowledge of the condition.These factors affect the patient’s perception of threat to self, potentiate the cycle of anxiety, and may interfere with medical attempts to control IOP.
Give accurate, honest information. Discuss the probability that careful monitoring and treatment can prevent additional visual loss.Lessens anxiety related to unknown or future expectations, and provides a factual basis for making informed choices about treatment.
Allow the patient to acknowledge concerns and express feelings.Provides an opportunity for the patient to deal with the reality of the situation, clarify misconceptions, and problem-solve concerns
Identify helpful resources and people.Provides reassurance that patient is not alone in dealing with the problem.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other ophthalmic nursing care plans:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • Hello, just wanted to alert you that the description for meds are switched up. Timolol is beta blocker (not carbonic anhydrase inhibitor) pilocarpic is cholinergic which contracts the iris (not beta blocker) and acetazolamide is carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. There must have been a mix up when creating the table. My prof shared this with the class and I was like wait a min but she didnt believe me because nursing profs act like they know everything and are infallible and students are never right. This type of toxic culture that exists in nursing education can really be discouraging. One day I will be the nursing prof who is different and treats everyone with empathy, compassion, and respect.

    • I completely understand. I am in the final months of nursing school. It’s not that easy to just switch instructors. I wish it was. Anyway thank you for wanting to be that better person/Instructor. I have the same plan.

    • Thank you for sharing BeAnon, I feel you in so many levels. The good thing is that not every professor is/has been like that, but there are a few that are. I’m happy to hear you want make it to a Nurse educator and be a better professor, that those who just “know it all”. Good luck in your nursing journey.

  • Sir, not all professors act alike. As with ethnic groups, generalizations about anyone are very damaging and borne of ignorance.
    If you have a professor who “acts like they know everything,” I suggest you find a new professor. Even those of us with doctoral degrees continue to learn every day. That’s why the NLN espouses the Spirit of Inquiry.

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