Treatment For Glaucoma
Once glaucoma has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as soon as possible to help minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing further damage from occurring. Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser or microsurgery. The best treatment for your individual case depends on the type and severity of the disease, and can be discussed with your doctor.
Eye drops are used to reduce fluid production in the front of the eye or to help drain excess fluid, but can lead to redness, stinging, irritation or blurry vision. Patients should tell their doctor about any allergies they have to minimize the risk of side effects.
Laser surgery for glaucoma aims to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate fluid blockages through laser trabeculoplasty, iridotomy or cyclophotocoagulation.
Microsurgery involves a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy, which creates a new channel to drain fluid from the eye and reduce the pressure that causes glaucoma. Surgery is often performed after medication and laser procedures have failed.
The iStent® is a tiny implant that helps people with glaucoma manage their intraocular pressure (IOP) post-procedure. The iStent® is inserted during cataract surgery. With an excellent safety profile and high success rate of normal IOP after procedure, this advanced technology allows you to address both conditions simultaneously. It may also allow you to rely less on glaucoma medication with approval from your doctor. Less procedures, accelerated recovery time, and a faster return to your daily activities. Contact us for more information about how you could benefit from the iStent® implant!
SLT For Glaucoma
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasy (SLT) is an advanced treatment option for glaucoma patients that lowers eye pressure and increases fluid drainage. This procedure offers a simple solution to glaucoma symptoms through a minimally invasive procedure with no side effects, scarring or pain.
The SLT procedure is effective for almost all patients with just one session. It has been performed successfully in Europe for the past 10 years and is now FDA approved for use in the US. It is performed in the office and takes just a few minutes, providing long-term results through the use of a low-energy laser beam.
SLT is most effective for patients unable to keep up with a daily eye drop treatment because of its cost, inconvenience or side effects. SLT controls glaucoma symptoms for up to 5 years with no need for additional medication, and relieves symptoms by promoting the body’s natural healing response. There are no major risks or complications associated with SLT and the procedure is covered by most insurance companies.
While there are no surefire ways to prevent glaucoma from developing, regular screenings and early detection are the best forms of protection against the harmful damage that the disease can cause. While anyone can develop glaucoma, some people are at a higher risk for developing the disease. These people may include those who:
- Are over the age of 60
- African Americans over the age of 40
- Have a family history of glaucoma
- Have poor vision
- Have diabetes
Patients should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years, especially if they have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Older patients may be encouraged to be tested more frequently.
To learn more about glaucoma and how you can be tested for this serious condition, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.