Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease that gets worse over time. As it becomes worse, the optic nerve may become damaged, which impairs vision. The common cause of damage is an increase in pressure in the eye. While there is no “perfect pressure” for every glaucoma patient, an eye doctor can direct the patient towards a target pressure. This is the ideal pressure that will form the basis of the treatment.
The doctor will recommend the best treatment depending on each patient. There are various treatment options available. The best treatment will depend on several factors, including your age and the extent of the damage.
If you have glaucoma, it is vital to find the treatment that is right for you. Your eye doctor will recommend treatment based on your symptoms. Several types of treatment options are used for glaucoma, and they range from medication to surgery.
Patients with mild to moderate glaucoma will usually be treated using daily prescription eye drops. Most of the medications are effective, safe, and mild, offering very few side effects.
Some common glaucoma treatments include alpha agonists, beta-blockers, and prostaglandin analogs. Others include carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and cholinergic (MIOTICS). Some of the medications produce better results than others.
The effects differ from one treatment to the next, with some being more serious than others. Most people experience some irritation or redness after using eye drops. Thus, some patients require combined glaucoma medications to get the best results.
Laser surgery is useful for glaucoma treatment. There are two main types of laser surgery; laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) and laser trabeculoplasty (LTP). LPI can help patients with acute angle-closure glaucoma or narrow angles.
The surgeon uses the laser to create a small opening on the iris through which fluid can flow. This treatment is for patients with certain forms of open-angle glaucoma. Some patients who have difficulty using eye drops opt for LTP treatment instead of using medications.
This is also called micro-invasive glaucoma surgery. The minimally invasive procedure involves implanting a tiny device in the eye. This is to allow easy draining, which helps to reduce internal pressure.
This is a quick, low-risk procedure, and it does not cause major disruption to the eye tissue. Thus, the surgery requires minimal postoperative recovery time. It is the preferred treatment option for many glaucoma patients.
The traditional glaucoma surgery treatments are trabeculectomy and aqueous (tube) shunts. These procedures are for patients who have advanced glaucoma and lower target pressure. The surgeries are also quite safe and effective. Yet, they are more complicated than minimally invasive procedures.
The trabeculectomy involves making an incision in the eye to allow fluids to leave, thus lowering the pressure. An aqueous shunt is suitable for patients who have glaucoma that cannot be controlled using medications.
It is important to realize that glaucoma does not go away immediately after treatment. Most people who suffer from glaucoma do not experience symptoms until permanent damage has occurred. Therefore, patients need to ensure that they keep up with all scheduled follow-up visits.
To learn more about the glaucoma treatment options, contact Coastal Vision Medical Group at our offices in Orange, Norco, Long Beach, or Irvine, California. You can also call 888-501-4496 to book an appointment today.