How is glaucoma treated?
How your glaucoma is treated will depend on your specific type of glaucoma, the severity of your disease, and how it responds to treatment.
Eye drops are often the initial treatment for glaucoma. These drops lower eye pressure and must be taken daily.
It is important to tell your ophthalmologist about your other medical conditions and all other medications you currently take. Also inform any other doctors caring for you, what glaucoma medication you take.
In some patients with glaucoma, surgery is recommended. Glaucoma surgery improves the flow of fluid out of the eye, resulting in lower eye pressure.
To treat open-angle glaucoma, a surgery called laser trabeculoplasty is often used. During trabeculoplasty, a laser makes tiny, evenly spaced burns in the trabecular meshwork. The laser does not create new drainage openings but make the drainage angle work more efficiently.
Even if laser trabeculoplasty is successful, most patients continue taking glaucoma medications after surgery. For many, this surgery is not a permanent solution and in 50% there is an increase in eye pressure again within five years.
Laser trabeculoplasty can also be used as a first line of treatment for patients who are unable to use eye drops.
Laser iridotomy is recommended for treating people with closed-angle glaucoma and those with very narrow drainage angles. A laser creates a small hole through the iris to improve the flow of aqueous fluid out of the eye. This opening is hidden from view by the upper eyelid.
In trabeculectomy, a small flap is made in the sclera (the outer white coating of your eye). A filter, or reservoir, is created under the conjunctiva (a thin layer of tissue that covers the white part of your eye). Once created, the bleb looks like a blister on the white part of the eye which is covered by the upper eyelid. The aqueous fluid drains through the flap made in the sclera and collect in the bleb, where the fluid will be absorbed into blood vessels around the eye.
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