Glaucoma comprises a group of conditions in which the pressure inside the eye becomes too high and the optic nerve in the eye becomes damaged over time. This damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye may lead to permanent blindness if left untreated.
Glaucoma is treated by lowering the pressure in your eyes. This can be done in several different ways, including eye drops, laser therapy or surgery.
Eye Drops: Eye drops are the main treatment for most glaucoma patients. Eye drops work by lowering the pressure of the eye back to the optimal pressure for that eye. There are several different types of drops that can be used.
Laser: Laser treatment can be as effective as eye drops in lowering the pressure. There are different types of laser treatments used to treat different types of glaucoma. It is painless and can be done in the clinic.
You may still need to use eye drops after having laser treatment to get optimum control of intraocular pressure.
Surgery: Surgery may be recommended in rare cases where treatment with eye drops or laser therapy have not been successful.
Surgery aims to bypass the blockage in the eye to allow fluid from inside the eye to drain more easily and ease the pressure.
There are a few approaches available. For example, in the ‘trabeculectomy procedure’, the pressure is released by creating a new pathway for fluid to drain away from the eye. There are other similar less invasive procedures available and your eye surgeon will select the best one relevant to your case.
Risks and complications
There are very few side effects and risks associated with these treatment options, however if left untreated glaucoma leads to irreversible blindness.