Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can cause you to gradually go blind. It doesn't usually cause other symptoms that alert you to it's development. It can cause a lot of damage before you realize you have it if you don't get regular eye examinations. If your eye doctor catches glaucoma early, before it causes vision loss, the right treatments may be able to protect your eyesight. While there isn't a cure for glaucoma, there are treatments that can stop its progression. Here's what you need to know about glaucoma treatments.
The Goal Of Treatment
When you have glaucoma, pressure builds up inside your eye. The pressure increases because problems develop with how fluid flows through your eye structures. If the fluid doesn't drain like it should, it builds up and the pressure in your eye increases. This increased pressure affects your optic nerve, which is what leads to blindness.
There are a few different types of glaucoma treatments, but they are all designed to improve the flow of fluid through your eye so the pressures in your eye decrease. The two main types of treatment are medications and surgery.
Medications For Glaucoma
Glaucoma medications are usually delivered in the form of eye drops you use every day. It's possible your doctor may also have to prescribe additional medications in pill form. These drugs work to decrease fluid production in your eye, or they relax the muscles in your eye so fluid can drain out easier. You have to take the drops every day to maintain lower eye pressures. You'll also need to visit your eye doctor on a regular schedule to have your eye pressures tested and your drug dosage adjusted to keep your pressures low.
If medications do not lower your eye pressures, your doctor may recommend you have surgery. Surgery may be used alone or in combination with medication. Surgery might also be indicated if you can't tolerate the drugs or if they interact with other drugs you need to take for a serious medical problem such as heart disease. There are two types of surgery you can have. One is laser surgery that opens up clogged ducts in your eye so fluid can drain out more easily. The other surgery removes part of the tissue in your eye to enlarge the drainage ducts.
Treatment for glaucoma should begin as early as possible to slow down the disease before it affects your vision. That's why regular eye examinations are important, even if you don't feel you need glasses or contacts to improve your vision. Even if you don't have vision problems, it's a good idea to have an exam for glaucoma and other eye diseases every 3-5 years once you turn 40, and about once a year after you turn 60, since the incidence of glaucoma increases with age. For more information, contact a clinic such as Leader Heights Eye Center.