Glaucoma is a type of eye condition where the optic nerve gets damaged. The health of your optic nerve is crucial for better vision. Such damage is usually brought about by abnormally high pressure in the eye. It is one of the leading causes of complete blindness in people over sixty years of age. The condition is commonly seen in older adults, though it might occur at any age. Several types of glaucoma come with no warning sign. In fact, the effect tends to be so gradual that a change in vision is only noticeable at an advanced stage.
Can glaucoma be cured?
Medical science is yet to find any kind of glaucoma cure that can reverse the damage. However, regular checkups and treatment can help slow down or prevent vision loss, particularly when the disease gets detected in the early stages.
Doctors treat the condition by lowering the eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure. Depending on your condition, some of your options are surgery, laser treatment, oral medications, and prescription eye drops.
Treatment options for glaucoma
Here are some of the commonly used treatment options for the condition:
Prescription eye drops:
The treatment of glaucoma usually starts with your prescription eye drops. The eye drops help lower intraocular pressure by working on how the fluid drains from the eyes or by reducing the fluid content made by the eye. Based on the existing eye pressure you have, your doctor might prescribe more than one eye drop.
If your eye drops are not sufficient in bringing the intraocular pressure down to the right level, your doctor will prescribe an oral medication – typically a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. A few possible side effects of the medication are stomach upset, frequent urination, tingling in the toes and fingers, depression, and kidney stones.
Surgeries and therapies:
Some therapies and surgeries can also help in treating the condition. For example, here are a few techniques that are generally used for improving the fluid drainage in the eye, leading to lower eye pressure:
Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure where the surgeon forms an opening in the sclera (white of the eye) to remove a part of the trabecular mesh.
In the case of open-angle glaucoma, Laser trabeculoplasty is a good option. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office. The doctor takes a tiny laser beam for opening the clogged channels present in the trabecular mesh. The results of the procedure take a couple of weeks to become evident.
The eye surgeon will insert a small tubular shunt in the eye for draining away the extra fluid and lowering the eye pressure.
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery
A MIGS process can also help in lowering your eye pressure. Such a procedure usually involves less immediate care and contains even lesser risk than trabeculectomy or getting a drainage device in the eyes.
And that’s all you need to know about treating the condition! Make sure you get your eye checkup done regularly to keep complications at bay.