Medical Treatment of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is usually controlled with eye drops taken several times a day, at times in combination with pills. These medications decrease intraocular eye pressure, by slowing the production of fluid within the eye or by improving the flow leaving the drainage angle.
Laser Treatment of Glaucoma
Laser surgery has become an increasingly popular and effective treatment for different types of glaucoma. For open-angle glaucoma, Dr. Barrus and Dr. Schultz may choose a painless laser procedure to stretch the eye tissue and allow more drainage of fluid (trabeculoplasty) to help control eye pressure. For angle-closure glaucoma, the doctors may use laser surgery to perform iridotomy and improve the drainage of fluid.
These procedures usually take between three and five minutes are painless and can be performed right here in our state-of-the-art facility. You may go home and resume normal activities following the procedure. It may take a few weeks to see the full pressure-lowering effect of laser treatment. Many patients are eventually able to discontinue some of their medications, however, this is not true in all cases. Dr. Barrus, Dr. Schultz, or Dr. Rutar will help you determine whether or not you will still need medication.
If a glaucoma laser treatment is the best option, our ophthalmologists will explain the risks and benefits so you fully understand your options. Laser treatment for glaucoma is widely used to help prevent vision loss and is becoming a glaucoma treatment of choice for many patients.
Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma
For a small number of patients, medical and laser treatment may fail to stop the progression of vision loss. For these patients there are surgical procedures available to help achieve control of intraocular pressure and slow or stop the progression of the disease.
When operative surgery is required, your ophthalmologist uses miniature instruments to create a new drainage channel for the fluid to leave the eye, thereby helping to lower the pressure. Surgery is usually recommended only if your doctor feels that it is safer to operate than to allow optic nerve damage to continue.
Thanks to advances in treatment, Dr. Barrus, Dr. Schultz, or Dr. Rutar will be able to recommend an individual treatment plan that is best for you. Click here to learn more about glaucoma
including who is at risk and its symptoms.