Consultation --> Monitor --> Drops --> Laser --> Surgery
This is often the treatment pathway which is followed by Glaucoma Specialists
Glaucoma is generally treated with eye drops to decrease fluid production or to enhance drainage in the eye, however these may cause unwanted side effects due to the drugs mechanism of action. Hence careful consideration of your general health is discussed during your consultation with the doctor to identify which eye drops is suitable for you. The eye drops can vary from something you put in once a day, to multiple drops you need to use at varying times, however each person is different and your eye specialist will select the best one for your condition.
In suitable patients, a gentle, non-tissue destructive laser treatment called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) can be offered that reduces or eliminates the need for eyedrops. Other laser procedures include iridotomy, where a small hole is made in the iris to facilitate fluid flow and cytophotocoagulation, a procedure where a part of the eye is treated to reduce fluid production.
In advanced cases, microsurgery can be performed to control the pressure within the eye. A trabeculotomy involves creation of a new channel for drainage and relief from the pressure.
Unfortunately for some, glaucoma can develop without the patients knowledge and going untreated can often lead to blindness, is it therefore important to ensure that if you have a family history of the disease that you get checked regularly, people over 40 should also be checked as a matter of routine and on a regular two year basis.
Early detection is the key to controlled glaucoma damage caused by glaucoma most often cannot be reversed.