The possibilities of treatment are greater the more precociously the diagnosis is made, that is why an early diagnosis is so important.
The aim of the treatment is to preserve the vision and visual field as they were at the time of diagnosis, since the regeneration of damaged fibers of the optic nerve is impossible.
The progression of the optic nerve involvement is avoided by maintaining the intraocular pressure in normal figures.
How Do You Fix Glaucoma?
The treatment must be adapted to each patient and its basis is the topical use of ophthalmic drops of drugs belonging to the following therapeutic groups:
- Adrenergic agonists.
- Inhibitors of carbonic anhydrase.
Most patients need the combined use of several ocular hypotensive eye drops. These eye drops, as prescribed by the ophthalmologist, are applied several times a day and can be maintained indefinitely. The greater the number of drops that the patient must apply during the day, the harder it is to comply with the treatment. Therefore, glaucoma therapy can be monotherapy or combinated therapy.
Compliance with treatment is the basis for controlling the disease and maintains the quality of life.
The new advances in the pharmacological treatment of glaucoma, with a single drop a day of 1 to 2 drugs, will allow better compliance and greater control of the disease.
Treatment of Glaucoma with Surgery
Surgery is an effective way to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), and in some cases it can normalize the pressure over a period of time, without the use of medications.
However, surgery is rarely chosen as the first treatment option as there are significant potential complications associated with it. Another reason for surgery to be reserved as a last resort is the chances of a successful outcome which is significantly variable, although the chances of the condition getting worse with surgery than without are roughly the same. Therefore, your doctor may recommend surgery only if you cannot use eye drops or other medications, or if they do not work good enough on its own to reduce the IOP.
Most surgical procedures for glaucoma reduce IOP by restructuring the tissue to clear the blockages, or by opening new channels to drain the aqueous humor. Less frequently, surgery is used to decrease the production of aqueous humor by restructuring the ciliary body, which is the part of the eye where it is produced the aqueous humor.
Of all the glaucoma treatment methods, surgery is the one most likely used to lower IOP sufficiently by its own means, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for medication. Unfortunately, that does not happen in all cases. There is no guarantee that the procedure you choose will reduce the IOP successfully, initially or not at all.
Not even your doctor is able to tell you with certainty how a treatment will work. However, in majority of the cases, repeating the procedure or trying an alternative surgery may be an option if the desired result with a procedure is not obtained with significant reduction in intraocular pressure.
It is imperative that the treating physician and the patient carefully weigh the risk benefit ratio for different types of surgeries to determine the right one for you. Some factors that could influence your decision may be:
- The severity of your glaucoma
- The presence of cataracts
- If you have had other eye surgeries previously
- Susceptibility to inflammation
- Your age and other health conditions
- Physical impediments
- How well it tolerates drops
- Social support system
In this method a focused beam of light penetrates the tissue rapidly and precisely and that is the reason why laser procedures are less painful without any inflammation or scarring than the normal surgery that used to be performed. Besides, the recovery time is also very less as the nerve endings and blood vessels are literally sealed.
- BrightFocus Foundation: “Glaucoma Treatment.” Source: https://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/treatment Comprehensive information on glaucoma treatment options, including eye drops, surgery, and laser treatment, from the BrightFocus Foundation.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Glaucoma: Treatment.” Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/glaucoma-treatment Information from the American Academy of Ophthalmology about glaucoma treatment, surgery, and laser procedures.
- Glaucoma Research Foundation: “Surgery for Glaucoma.” Source: https://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/surgery-for-glaucoma.php Information on surgical options for glaucoma, considerations, and potential outcomes from the Glaucoma Research Foundation.