Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can lead to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Glaucoma results in peripheral (or side) vision loss initially, and the effect can be like looking through a tube or into a narrow tunnel. Over time, glaucoma can damage your central vision as well. It is an especially dangerous eye condition because most people do not experience any symptoms or early warning signs at the onset of glaucoma. This is why glaucoma is often called “the sneak thief of sight.”
Glaucoma can be treated, but it is not curable. The damage to the optic nerve from glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, lowering the pressure in the eye can help prevent further damage to the optic nerve and further peripheral vision loss. The best treatment for glaucoma depends upon the nature and severity of each case. Eye drops, pills, laser procedures and surgical operations are used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring.
- Medicines: Glaucoma is often treated with eye drops taken regularly several times a day, sometimes in combination with oral medication. These medicines help to alter the circulation of eye fluid and lower eye pressure, either by decreasing the production of fluid within the eye, or by increasing the flow leaving the drainage angle.
- Laser Surgery: Laser surgery can be an effective option for glaucoma treatment. Trabeculoplasty is laser treatment to enhance the eye drainage function to control eye pressure within the eye when treating open-angle glaucoma.
- Operative Surgery: When operative surgery is needed to treat glaucoma, your doctor will use a microscope and specialized instruments to create a new bypass drainage channel for the eye fluid to leave the eye. The new channel helps to lower the eye pressure.
Early detection along with appropriate and ongoing treatment can help people with glaucoma live productive and satisfying lives. To learn more about glaucoma treatments or to schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors, contact Westlake Eye Specialists at 512-472-4011 or westlakeeyes.com.