If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma or someone you know has or has been diagnosed with glaucoma, you know that it is a disease in which pressure and fluids build up in the eye, damaging the optic nerve. You may be a little worried about what the care plan might look like for you and how you will move forward to treat the glaucoma. The good news is that glaucoma treatment provides numerous different options.
For earlier stage glaucoma and perhaps in combination with other treatments for more advanced glaucoma, eyedrops are a general course of action. Eyedrops for glaucoma are administered just like regular eyedrops so it is helpful to follow a similar technique. Put the drops in and close your eye for a moment or two after the drops hit the eyeball. Some people also like to take a finger and apply a light amount of pressure on the inner corner of the eye to keep the medicated drops from seeping through the tear ducts to the nose. This will help avoid the nasal drip you can sometimes get from drops as well as make sure the majority of the medicated drops end up where they are supposed to be: the eyes.
Pills are another way to help control glaucoma. Pills are generally taken numerous times a day to help treat glaucoma, however one of the side effects are extremely dry eyes because the pills will lessen the production of the natural fluid made to lubricate the eye. Because of this, it will likely still be necessary to use some kind of eyedrops, like the medicated ones above, to help provide moisture.
For severe glaucoma, a doctor may also recommend glaucoma surgery. There are numerous different types of glaucoma surgery and what your doctor suggests might be different depending on the severity of the condition. For less severe glaucoma, a doctor might opt to do a laser surgery, which will use a laser to help relieve some of the pressure in the eye and help it to drain better. This kind of surgery is not to be confused with lasik eye surgery, which is better suited to improve vision by correcting the cornea of the eye. For more severe glaucoma, a doctor may also recommend a traditional surgery in which small blades are used to help relieve pressure and drain the eye. After a traditional surgery, statistics show that about half of all patients can forgo their previous glaucoma medication like pills or drops for years following the surgery. The other half, however, generally still use pills or drops (though perhaps at a lesser rate) to manage the glaucoma symptoms and progression following the surgery.
As you can see, there are many different ways of treating glaucoma, some individual and many in conjunction with one another. With eye health being such an important piece of overall health, it is important to consult with your doctor to ensure that you are following the best treatment plan for you and your vision.