Treatment of Glaucoma

Treatment Overview

Treatment of Open-angle Glaucoma

Once a determination is made that glaucoma is present, treatment must be initiated. The goal of treatment for any kind of glaucoma is to lower the eye pressure. It is irrelevant how this is accomplished as long as it is done. It is important to note that glaucoma cannot be cured. As it is a lifelong disease, it must be monitored and managed on a regular basis.

The following are the treatment options for glaucoma:

  • Medications can be used in the form of drops to help lower the eye pressure. The drops need to be administered once or multiple times a day depending on the medication in order to be effective. Compliance or remembering to take the medications is one of the drawbacks of this option because studies have shown that a large percentage of people tend to forget to take them. These medications may also have side-effects.
  • Laser or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty is a good option because it is a safe option with little or no side effects. The laser accomplishes what medications do and that is to lower the eye pressure. The laser works in most people, however, in some individuals, it has little or no effect.
  • Glaucoma surgery whether it be trabeculectomycanaloplasty or tube surgery, is done in those patients where medications and laser have not been effective enough. It is reserved for those with more advanced or difficult to control glaucoma.

Treatment of Closed-angle Glaucoma

The preferred treatment for closed or narrow-angle glaucoma is laser. This particular kind of laser called peripheral iridotomy is curative and will deepen the angle where the drainage system was initially blocked or narrow. Sometimes people who have closed-angle glaucoma will develop a secondary form of open-angle glaucoma. In that case, any of the treatment options for open-angle glaucoma can be started.

Other Treatment

Certain kinds of glaucoma will not respond to conventional glaucoma filtering surgery. In these cases, a glaucoma drainage device (GDD) is implanted. [read more]