Unfortunately, glaucoma can’t be totally cured and damage caused by the disease cannot be reversed. However, regular checkups and treatment of glaucoma can help prevent vision loss.
A prescription for medicated eye drops is usually the first step of glaucoma treatment. The doctor may prescribe multiple types of eye drops, so it’s important to ask how long to wait between applications.
If eye drops alone do not sufficiently decrease your eye pressure, the next step is usually an oral medication. In most cases, the medication will be in the form of a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. It should be taken with a meal to reduce common side effects, which include frequent urination and tingling in the fingers and toes.
If the medications are intolerable or ineffective, glaucoma surgery is the next option. If a single surgery does not do the job, a doctor will most likely suggest a continuation of eye drops or another operation. Surgeries performed include laser treatment for glaucoma, filtering surgery and drainage implants.
Laser surgery, a 10-to-20-minute procedure, uses a high-energy laser beam that opens clogged drainage canals and helps aqueous humor drain from the eye. In most cases, laser surgery is initially successful, but eye pressure may begin to increase again over time.
Filtering surgery is performed if eye drops and laser surgery are not effective. An anesthetic is used to numb the eye before the surgeon creates an opening in the sclera (the white of the eye) to remove a small piece of the trabecular meshwork and allow the aqueous humor to drain freely through the opening and lower ocular pressure.
A third procedure is the insertion of drainage implants, which is usually performed on people with secondary glaucoma or children with glaucoma. The eye surgeon inserts a small silicone tube into the eye to allow the aqueous humor to drain. An eye patch is worn for 24 hours after the surgery and eye drops are applied for several weeks to prevent infection and scarring.
Glaucoma natural treatments also exist, although, like most natural treatments, may be controversial in their use.
Glaucoma can be scary, but medical experts are doing their best to improve treatment and reduce vision loss. For example, there are ongoing trials evaluating certain drugs that may help protect the optic nerve from glaucoma-related damage. Also, like all surgeries, there are also glaucoma surgery risks.
Please contact a medical professional for more information about glaucoma treatments suitable for your condition and to review glaucoma treatment guidelines.
But what can you do to prevent glaucoma? Come back soon and we’ll tell you!
If you have taken action to attempt to prevent glaucoma, we would love to hear how in the comments below.