Treatments for Glaucoma
At this time there is no cure for glaucoma. Vision lost from the disease cannot be restored. That is why immediate treatment for early stage, open-angle glaucoma is so important. Immediate treatment can delay progression of the disease. Glaucoma treatments include eye drop medicines, laser trabeculoplasty, conventional surgery, or a combination of any of these. While these treatments may save remaining vision, they do not improve sight already lost from glaucoma.
Glaucoma Almost Always Gets Worse
Glaucoma is a progressive disease and much of the treatment is based on the rate of progression of the disease. Unfortunately, no matter how well the disease is treated, no matter how good the glaucoma specialist, no matter how good the medicine, glaucoma usually gets worse. The goal is to maintain functional vision for the patient's lifetime.
Treatment with Medicine/Eye Drops
Medicines, in the form of eye drops or pills, are the most common early treatment for glaucoma. Some medicines cause the eye to make less fluid. Others lower pressure by helping fluid drain from the eye. Glaucoma medicines are often instilled several times a day. Because glaucoma has no symptoms, people may be tempted to stop taking, or may forget to take, their medicine. You need to use the drops or pills as long as they help control your eye pressure. Regular use is very important. Make sure your eye care professional shows you how to put the drops into your eye.
Most people have no problems. However, some medicines can cause headaches or other side effects. For example, drops may cause stinging, burning, and redness in the eyes. If you have problems with one medicine, tell your eye care professional. Treatment with a different dose or a new drug may be possible. It is also important that you tell your eye care professional about other medicines you may be taking before you begin glaucoma treatment. Sometimes the drops can interfere with the way other medicines work. See a list of currently used glaucoma medicines and their side effects and benefits.
If glaucoma eye drop medicine does not adequately control the intraocular pressure or the damage to the eye from glaucoma, glaucoma surgery will be recommended. There are many options in glaucoma surgery such as:
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)