Treatment for glaucoma
There is currently no cure for glaucoma and once damage to the optic nerve and resulting vision loss occurs, it cannot be restored.
However, glaucoma is usually associated with increased pressure in the eye, which can be treated, and this can help to slow or prevent further damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
Glaucoma is usually treated with daily eye drops, which help to reduce the pressure in the eye by reducing the amount of fluid the eye produces, or by helping the fluid to drain more easily from the eye. It is important that you tell your ophthalmologist if you are experiencing any side-effects from the eye drops, as they may be able to prescribe you a different medication.
There are two main types of laser surgery which can help fluid to drain from the eye, reducing eye pressure and therefore slowing the progression of glaucoma. Both of these procedures are usually completed during outpatient appointments where you can go home the same day, but your vision may initially be blurry so you should not drive yourself home.
- Laser Trabeculoplasty
This treatment can be used for people with open-angle glaucoma. It uses a focused beam of light to treat the filter that drains fluid from your eye, reducing the pressure inside the eye.
This treatment can be used for people with angle-closure glaucoma. It makes a small hole in the iris to balance pressure and improve fluid flow in the eye.
Some people with glaucoma may require surgery to create a new drainage channel for the fluid in the eye, reducing pressure in the eye.
With this procedure, the surgeon creates an opening in the sclera (the white of your eye) allowing fluid to flow out of the eye and reduce pressure.
- Drainage Devices
In this case, the surgeon implants a small drainage tube into the eye to drain fluid and reduce pressure.
- Cataract Surgery
In some cases, removing the eye’s natural lens can help treat glaucoma, by increasing space between the cornea and the iris. This allows fluid to drain from the eye more quickly, and so reduces pressure.