Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, and in time, blind spots may develop in the patient’s field of vision. It is a major cause of blindness across the globe-and early detection of the disease and prompt treatment by your eye doctor are essential in preventing the vision loss that results when the optic nerve is damaged. Discover how to treat glaucoma including medication, laser trabeculoplasty, and conventional surgery.
Treatments for Glaucoma
This condition is treated with laser trabeculoplasty, conventional surgery, medication, or some combination of these remedies, Note also that while these treatments prevent any further loss of vision, they do not restore what is already gone.
Glaucoma medication is often taken several times daily, and most people find that this is easy to do. However, if your eye drops cause headaches or burning, stinging or redness in your eyes, mention this to your doctor, because a change in dosage or a new medication may prove to be more effective.
Laser trabeculoplasty is used to drain fluid from the eye, and the procedure is done at an eye clinic or in your physician’s office. Drops are used to numb the eye, the ophthalmologist aims a beam of light at the lens of your eye, and the laser makes some evenly spaced burns, enabling the fluid to drain properly. Afterwards, there may be some side effects, including inflammation. Your intraocular pressure (IOP)will be monitored in a series of follow-up visits, and further treatment may be needed.
If medication and laser surgery are ineffective in controlling the pressure, your eye doctor may recommend conventional surgery. The procedure will be performed in a hospital or at an eye clinic, and some tissue will be removed, creating a new channel that will allow the fluid to drain as intended. Afterwards, you will need eye drops to avoid inflammation and infection.
Eye surgeons recommend this option for what they feel are complicated glaucoma cases. Implants are often considered following an injury to the eye, or when other methods for treating congenital glaucoma have failed. They are also used in treating neovascular glaucoma, which is often related to diabetes, and when previous treatments for glaucoma have been ineffective.
“Definition – What Is Glaucoma?,” The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center: Patient Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2010. http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/glaucoma.html>
“Facts About Glaucoma,” National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2010. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp#4a>
“Glaucoma Implants,” Glaucoma Research Foundation. I N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2010. http://www.glaucoma.org/treating/glaucoma_valve.php>