Is there a cure for glaucoma?
No, but there are sight-saving treatments. So the sooner a person is diagnosed, the more vision can be preserved.
The most common treatments for glaucoma are eye drops and, rarely, pills. There are a number of different categories of eye drops, but all are used to either decrease the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye or improve its outward flow. Sometimes doctors will prescribe a combination of eye drops. People using these medications should be aware of their purpose and potential side effects, which should be explained by a medical professional. A doctor can decide which medications are best suited for a patient based on the individual case of glaucoma, medical history, and current medication regimen.
Treatments vary depending on the type of glaucoma. The most common include:
- Open-angle glaucoma treatment normally begins with medications, usually eye drops or, rarely, pills that either help eye fluid drain more effectively or cause the eye to produce less fluid. Several forms of laser surgery can also help fluid drain from the eye. Conventional filtration surgeries such as the glaucoma drainage implant are sometimes used to create a new opening for fluid drainage.
- Acute angle-closure glaucoma (a medical emergency) is treated with medications and/or laser procedures.
- Chronic angle-closure glaucoma is treated with a laser procedure, often in an office or clinic under local anesthesia, and with medications.
- Normal-tension glaucoma is currently treated in the same ways as open-angle glaucoma. When this form of the disease is better understood, treatment strategies may be modified.
- Congenital glaucoma is usually treated with medications and one of two forms of eye surgery.
- Juvenile glaucoma is treated using medications, laser surgery and conventional filtration surgery.
- Secondary glaucoma can be open-angle or angle-closure, and acute or chronic. Treatment depends on these factors and whether the underlying condition causing increased eye pressure needs to be addressed.