What are My Glaucoma Treatment Options?
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Although there is no cure for the eye condition, it is treatable.
When glaucoma is diagnosed and treated early, you can maintain healthy vision and prevent vision loss. Keep reading to learn about your glaucoma treatment options!
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve in your eye. The optic nerve contains more than a million nerve fibers which transport visual information to the brain.
Most cases of glaucoma are caused by increased eye pressure, also referred to as intraocular pressure or IOP. Eye pressure builds when fluids cannot drain from the eye properly.
There are many different types of glaucoma. These include open-angle, chronic closed-angle, narrow-angle glaucoma, and acute angle closure angle.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It develops slowly over time, causing a loss of peripheral vision and, in the advanced stages, tunnel vision.
Open-angle glaucoma results from a partial blockage in the drainage system of the eye.
Narrow-angle glaucoma is less common. Like open-angle glaucoma, it develops slowly. Narrow-angle glaucoma is caused by the position of the iris, which can then block the drainage channels.
Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma
Acute angle closure glaucoma is a rare form of glaucoma but can cause quick and permanent changes to your vision. Acute angle closure glaucoma is considered an emergency.
Symptoms occur suddenly. They include intense eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurry vision, visual disturbances like halos, and eye redness.
Most of the time, glaucoma progresses gradually. Many people do not notice they have it until years pass, and it begins to affect their central vision.
Once the damage has occurred to the optic nerve, unfortunately, it cannot be reversed. The best way to avoid permanent vision loss with glaucoma is to visit your eye doctor regularly so they can diagnose the eye condition early and develop a treatment plan.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
With the proper treatment, patients with glaucoma can maintain healthy vision. Glaucoma treatment aims to reduce pressure in the eye so it can return to healthy levels, preventing further vision loss.
Medicated eye drops are usually the first course of action. These drops aim to reduce eye pressure but have to be taken consistently in order to do so.
Your eye doctor may prescribe you multiple types of glaucoma eye drops in order to find the one that works best for you.
If eye drops do not adequately lower your eye pressure, SLT, or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, can be performed to decrease eye pressure further. The SLT procedure works by applying a laser to open up the natural drain of your eye.
This allows fluid to exit the eye as it should, lowering pressure. SLT is a simple ten-minute procedure performed right here in our office, with no recovery time needed.
For patients with angle-closure glaucoma, YAG Laser Iridotomy may be recommended. It creates a microscopic hole in the iris, which opens up the drainage angle.
In more advanced cases, glaucoma surgery may be necessary. The iStent is a tiny medical device that can be implanted in the eye to help lower intraocular pressure.
As a MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) procedure, it can be implanted during cataract surgery. Once in place, you won’t be able to see or feel the device.
Durysta is another kind MIGS implant that can help treat glaucoma. It accomplishes this by gradually releasing medicine to help lower eye pressure.
Are you looking for the best way to treat your glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Ginsberg Eye in Naples, FL, today to discuss your treatment options!