With early diagnosis and proper medication and treatment, glaucoma can be controlled. However, sight loss resulting from glaucoma cannot be restored. At the present time, there is no cure. Once detected, glaucoma usually requires ongoing, long-term care. Keeping your eye pressure under control is very important. You must follow your treatment plan carefully to help control your eye pressure. This will protect the optic nerve and prevent sight loss.
Many people think that glaucoma has been cured when high eye pressure is lowered to safe levels with medication or surgery. In fact, the glaucoma is only being controlled, not cured. Regular checkups are still needed even after medications or surgeries have controlled the eye pressure.
The eye specialist will decide which range of pressure is acceptable for each individual case, in order to maintain vision and avoid progression. The target pressure is decided according to the severity of glaucoma, age of patient, corneal thickness, etc.
Glaucoma is typically treated with the use of medications that either help the fluid drain better or decrease the amount of fluid made by the eye. In most cases, medication can safely control eye pressure for many years.
There are several types of laser surgery used to treat glaucoma. The type of laser surgery will depend on the form of glaucoma and how severe it is. Laser surgeries are performed in an outpatient setting in your doctor’s office or at the clinic.
Laser surgery is the main initial treatment method for angle-closure glaucoma, which results in widening of the angle for most patients. In cases of open-angle glaucoma, laser surgery can be used as an adjunct treatment with medications.
Incisional surgery is usually considered when the maximum amount of medication is not controlling your eye pressure or when your glaucoma is progressing despite normal pressures.
What happens during surgery is that a new drainage is opened for the fluid to drain and the eye to maintain low pressures. The most common types of surgery is trabeculectomy, where the drainage channel is made from the patients own tissues, and tube surgery, where an artificial valve or tube is placed in the eye so that the fluid can drain.