Glaucoma: Treatment Overview

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  • There are a number of treatment options available, that are designed to slow down, or stop damage to the eye that is caused by glaucoma. While vision that has already been lost due to glaucoma can not be recovered, these treatments can stop vision loss from getting worse. Your eye care professional may suggest medicated eye drops, a laser procedure, or a surgical procedure, to treat glaucoma. These treatments all have a common goal; to lower pressure inside of the eye, and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Prescription eye drops lower pressure inside of the eye, by decreasing the amount of fluid the eye produces, or by helping fluid leave the eye more easily. Laser procedures can lower eye pressure by relieving blockage in the drain mechanism of the eye. In some cases, lasers are also used to create new drainage channels inside the eye, when there is an obstruction to the normal flow of fluid. Surgical procedures lower eye pressure by creating an opening in the wall of the eye, so the fluid can easily escape. Another surgical approach is to implant a tube called a shunt, to channel fluid out of the eye. Your treatment plan will depend on the type of glaucoma you have, how far it has advanced, and your general health. Your eye care professional will determine the best approach for you.

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