Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. It is usually caused by excess fluid build up in the front of the eye that increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure.
Glaucoma, known as the “sneak thief of sight,” can affect patients of all ages. Many people affected with glaucoma do not experience any symptoms and may not be aware that they have the disease until they have lost a significant amount of vision. With early detection and treatment, eyes can be protected against the serious loss of vision or blindness.
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. Treatment for each individual case depends on the type and severity of the glaucoma. Some of the treatment methods for glaucoma are:
Eye drops or oral medication may be used to either reduce fluid production in the front of the eye or to help drain excess fluid. Side effects of the medication may result in redness, stinging, irritation or blurry vision. While glaucoma often has no symptoms, regular use of the medication is needed to keep the eye pressure under control.
Trabeculoplasty, iridotomy or cyclophotocoagulation are laser procedures that aim to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate fluid blockages.
A trabeculectomy may be performed to create a new channel to drain fluid from the eye and reduce the pressure that causes glaucoma. Surgery is performed only after medication and laser procedures have been unsuccessful.