Glaucoma TREATMENT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The following Glaucoma Treatment questions are asked by real people like you. The answers are provided by board-certified doctors or qualified medical providers who meet our exacting standards.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages your optic nerve which is caused when fluid is build up and high pressure happens in your eye.  Glaucoma gets worse over time and causes vision loss which is irreversible.

    • Certain races like African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent
    • People over 40
    • People with family background of the disease
    • People with poor vision
    • Diabetic patients
    • People who had a trauma to the eye(s)
    • cornea scarring because of injury or infection
    • corneal ulcers
    • keratoconus (bulging out of the cornea)
    • swelling of the cornea
    • inherited eye diseases
    • problems caused by an earlier eye surgery

Depending on your general health condition and severity of your glaucoma, there are several treatments which your surgeon will choose one of them.

    • Medicines
    • Laser Trabeculoplasty
    • the Surgery

Pills and eye drops are the most common early treatments for glaucoma which your ophthalmologist prescribes for you depending on your condition. Eye drops and pills lower the eye pressure and make eyes less fluid.

This is an in-office laser procedure to reduce pressure in the eye by using a very focused beam of light to treat the drainage angle of the eye. Before laser treatment, numbing drops will be applied to your eyes. In this method, the laser beam makes several burns that stretch the drainage holes to allow fluid to drain better. The treatment will be scheduled for different days if both eyes need Laser treatment.

This is an incisional surgery, also referred as filtering surgery, which usually is recommended after medicine and laser treatment have failed to control pressure. This is an outpatient surgery and is performed under local anesthesia. In this method, in order to numb your eyes, your surgeon makes small injections around the eyes and then creates a drainage hole using a small surgical tool.

You should keep water out of the eye at least for 2 weeks after surgery. You suffer from side effects like redness, increased eye tearing and irritation which is normal. You are not allowed to read, drive, bend and lift heavy things for several weeks.  Special care is needed to avoid of any infection. You need to change your contact lenses or glasses.

It is very important to know that immediate treatment for early-stage glaucoma can delay progression of the disease.

It is more commonly found in people aged 40 and above. People with diabetes or near sightedness also have a higher tendency to develop Glaucoma. Other than that, people older than 60 are more at risk of developing Glaucoma than younger people.

People with a family history of Glaucoma, low eye pressure, or cardiovascular disease have a higher risk factor of developing normal-tension Glaucoma.

Whatever your circumstances, it is highly recommended for people in their mid-thirties to get scheduled eye exams as an early preventive method for Glaucoma. As you all know, early detection promises better protection.

Glaucoma is harmful to vision because of the damage instilled on the optic nerve. Everything you see, that information is taken to the brain via the optic nerve. Any damage to it compromises the quality and quantity of information your brains get, thus the loss of vision.

Glaucoma is known to cause blindness but it can be prevented. If it is diagnosed at an early stage, the damage can be controlled. If you don’t treat it at the right time, you are most likely to lose peripheral vision first and then the central vision, which may result in complete blindness.

Glaucoma is infamous as ‘The Silent thief” because it steals your eyesight without any visible or loud warnings. Symptoms may not show until it is already too late. Whatever signs or symptoms you get, may vary with the type of Glaucoma.

    • If you have Primary open-angle Glaucoma, your first symptom might be your vision loss – which is a sign of a damaged optic nerve.
    • If you have Acute-angle closure Glaucoma, you may have blurry vision. You might also see rings or halos around lights. You may experience pain or strain in your eye and they may also get red.

There are two common types of glaucoma. The first is open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common. This form occurs when the eye’s drainage system drains slowly, similar to a slow drain. When the fluid cannot drain properly, the pressure in the eyes will increase. The second is a less common type of glaucoma and it is called angle-closure glaucoma. It occurs when the eye’s drainage system becomes completely blocked, causing the pressure in the eye to increase rapidly.

While anyone can develop glaucoma, certain factors can put you at higher risk.

    • Family history of glaucoma
    • Having a high prescription
    • Being diabetic
    • Being over 40-years-old
    • Previous trauma to the eye
    • Prolonged use of steroid medications

There is no cure for glaucoma. There are, however, treatment methods available that can slow the progression of the disease.

    • Eye drops:Eye drops are often prescribed to keep the pressure in the eyes down. They are the most common treatment method.
    • Laser surgery:Laser surgery is performed to increase the flow of the fluid in people with open-angle glaucoma. If you have angle-closure glaucoma, laser surgery can stop the fluid blockage.
    • Trabeculectomy:This is a form of microsurgery where a new channel is created to drain the fluid, which will reduce the pressure in the eyes.

If you do need surgery, our optometry care provides eye surgery co-management, this is to ensure that you are always taken care of, before and after surgery.

Not necessarily. If eye pressure increases, you are at risk of developing glaucoma. However, it does not mean that you will definitely develop the disease. Some people can tolerate elevated eye pressure better than others. A particular level of eye pressure may be too high for one person and be completely normal for someone else.

A diagnosis of glaucoma is only made if there is damage to the optic nerve. If you have high eye pressure but no nerve damage, then you have ocular hypertension – this is different to glaucoma. But it’s important that your eyes are regularly monitored, as people with high eye pressure are more likely to develop glaucoma.

Even if you don’t have increased eye pressure, regular eye examinations are important – this is particularly true once you reach the age of 50.

Yes, you can. This is called normal-tension glaucoma (a form of open-angle glaucoma) and is thought to be related to poor blood supply to the eye nerve.

Vision lost from glaucoma cannot be recovered and treatment can only prevent worsening of the disease. Therefore, it’s important that we detect glaucoma at an early stage, before it causes vision loss.

Everyone over the age of 40 who is in a high-risk group should have an eye examination every year.

If you have been prescribed medication to treat glaucoma, be sure to take it exactly as directed by your eye care professional. Do not stop taking the medication (even if your eyes feel OK) and make sure you attend regular checkups with your ophthalmologist.

Encourage them to visit their eye care professional at least once every two years in order to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Remember that early treatment of glaucoma slows progression of the disease and will help to save valuable vision.

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