Glaucoma Treatments and Surgeries to Prevent Blindness

Glaucoma Treatments and Surgeries to Prevent Blindness

Glaucoma, an increase in eye pressure which causes vision loss over time, negatively impacts a person’s life. There are, however, certain things a person can do to treat glaucoma. Luckily, there are various lifestyle changes treatments, devices, and surgeries available which can help. Without even stepping foot in a doctor’s office, a few lifestyle changes that can help lower eye pressure in glaucoma patients include reducing the intake of caffeine, drinking water in small amounts and more consistently throughout the day (as opposed to large quantities in a short time), and exercising regularly.

Options vary from patient to patient, but a few of the best glaucoma treatments include prescription eye drops, prescription pills, laser therapy, laser surgery (various types), traditional surgery, and surgical alternatives (such as shunts). When eye drops fail to lower the pressure in the eye, sometimes pills are prescribed to treat symptoms. Certain doctors may try to avoid pills, however, in an attempt to mitigate as much risk as possible. Surgeries to reverse glaucoma are almost always the next best route. One of the most popular is laser surgery, which has increased in popularity over the years. One procedure, called trabeculoplasty, lasts about fifteen minutes and is virtually painless. It changes the drainage system very slightly, so more fluid can drain from the eye.

Another example of an effective glaucoma treatment is conventional surgery. One of the most common types is called a trabeculectomy. This operation is an option for both open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma to relieve fluid buildup. In essence, the surgeon creates a small slice in the sclera just large enough to let the excess fluid pass through. The most notable benefit is that around half of patients who undergo this operation can stop taking glaucoma medications for a decent length of time afterward. One thing to note is that it is more invasive than laser therapy and can limit certain daily activities for a few weeks following the procedure.

Of course, each of these glaucoma treatment options requires the consult and direction of a qualified physician. Every patient’s glaucoma is unique, and the treatment must be tailored accordingly. Some of these treatments will work miracles for some patients, and could potentially cause serious issues in others. With the help of a glaucoma specialist, it is possible to reduce vision loss before it is gone forever.

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