Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to preserving vision. Routine vision screenings performed by your ophthalmologist can help identify glaucoma before extensive damage occurs.
The three main treatment options for glaucoma, include:
- Eye drops
- Laser treatment
Medications for Glaucoma
Most medications for glaucoma are administered in the form of eye drops. Less commonly, pills may be prescribed as a temporary measure. There are a variety of medications used in the treatment of glaucoma and most work either by decreasing the amount of fluid produced by the eye or improving drainage of eye fluid.
Laser Treatment of Glaucoma
During laser surgery for glaucoma, low-energy beams of light are aimed at the drainage channels of the eye to allow for better outflow, thereby, lowering the intraocular pressure. These procedures are performed in your eye surgeon’s office or at an outpatient surgery center. Usually eye drops will still be required following laser surgery.
Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma
Surgery for glaucoma may be recommended when eye drops and laser procedures fail to adequately reduce eye pressure. Some surgical techniques used to improve the eye’s drainage include the placement of shunts, stents, or using your own tissue to make a new drain.
Lifelong Glaucoma Treatment
Individuals with glaucoma require ongoing, lifelong treatment to prevent blindness. Medications should be taken regularly and precisely as your eye doctor has prescribed. Frequent eye screenings (every three to four months) are also needed to monitor eye pressure and to evaluate the effectiveness of glaucoma treatment.