What Is the Treatment for Glaucoma?
Treatment for glaucoma can include prescription eye drops, medication, or surgery. There are pros and cons to each of these treatment options, and your eye doctor can help you determine which treatment is right for your situation. Here's a closer look at some potential offerings:
Eye Drops Treatment for Glaucoma
Eye drops for glaucoma can reduce the formation of fluid in the front of the eye, or they can help to improve the outflow of that fluid. In both cases, the outcome reduces the fluid and, consequently, the intraocular pressure on your eye.
Some of the eye drops your doctor may prescribe include prostaglandins, beta blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists, and miotic or cholinergic agents. These drops perform similar functions, but they can have a range of side effects including redness, stinging, irritation, blurry vision, or others.
Oral Medication Treatment for Glaucoma
In some rare cases, your doctor may also prescribe carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. These oral medications help reduce the pressure in your eye, but they also have potential side effects including frequent urination, tingling in your extremities (fingers and toes), upset stomach, and kidney stones. For some patients, this medication has been linked to depression. If your doctor prescribes this medication for your glaucoma, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of depression, and talk with your doctor as needed to adjust your treatment.
Laser Trabeculoplasty Treatment for Glaucoma
With this treatment for people with open-angle glaucoma, the doctor focuses a non-burning laser beam onto your eye. The laser creates a small shift that makes it easier for fluid to drain from your eye.
In some cases, the effects of this laser treatment can wear off over time. As a result, you may need to continue taking glaucoma medications, but you can usually stop using eye drops. Additionally, you need to see your eye care professional for evaluations after the procedure. If necessary, you may need to undergo the procedure again at a later time.
iStent® Treatment for Glaucoma
This glaucoma treatment is specifically for people who also suffer from cataracts. The full name of the iStent® is the Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent, and it's best for adults with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma who are currently taking ocular hypotensive medications.
With this treatment, the surgeon places an iStent® device in your eye during your cataract surgery. The iStent® reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) on your eye by creating a bypass between the front part of your eye and its drainage pathway to increase the flow of fluid. In many cases, these implants are so effective that you can reduce or even stop taking glaucoma medications. However, results vary from person to person, so it's important to check with your optometrist for details on your exact situation.
For many patients, this procedure provides them with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deal with their cataracts and glaucoma at the same time. After the iStent® procedure, most patients are able to maintain normal levels of pressure in their eyes. Best of all, the procedure has an excellent safety profile, and it's covered by Medicare as well as most private insurance companies.
If you need treatment for glaucoma, we're ready to help. At New Vision Eye Center, we provide glaucoma treatment, cataract surgery, and a range of other treatments and surgeries. If you are a resident of Vero Beach, FL or the surrounding area, contact us to set up an appointment today.