Eye Care

How Doctors Treat Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious medical condition caused by a buildup of pressure in the eyeball, which can cause vision loss and other symptoms. The effects of glaucoma can be devastating, especially if vision loss intensifies and becomes permanent.

Fortunately, there are multiple options available for treating glaucoma. Medication, laser surgery, and traditional surgery may all be options depending on the severity of your glaucoma. Glaucoma natural treatment options are limited in effectiveness and should generally not replace other treatment options.


Glaucoma medication can help by reducing pressure in the eye, allowing fluid to drain, and reducing the amount of fluid your eye produces in the first place. There are several types of medication available, each of which relies on different mechanisms to achieve the desired effect. Some medications are available as pills, while others are delivered in gel or liquid drop form.

Side effects of glaucoma medications can include dizziness, dry mouth, itching, and more. Some medications, such as beta-blockers, can cause severe adverse reactions if used in conjunction with other medications. Thus, your doctor’s options for treatment may be limited.

Laser Surgery

The latest glaucoma treatment technology includes laser surgery. There are two main types of surgery available: laser trabeculoplasty and peripheral iridotomy. Both involve making tiny incisions in parts of the eye to improve drainage of fluid. Recovery is normally quick, and many patients are able to resume normal activities the very next day.

It’s common for patients who receive laser surgery to continue to take medication after surgery. In some cases, a surgery may need to be repeated a few years later in order to re-open incisions and allow fluid to begin draining again. Overall, though, laser surgery is a promising option for many glaucoma patients who can’t manage their condition with medication alone.

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Conventional Surgery

There are a number of conventional surgeries available, some of which use lasers to help achieve the desired effect. Some of these surgeries require numbing agents but don’t often require general anesthesia. Some surgeries, such as drainage implant surgery, restrict the patient’s activity for a few weeks afterward.

New, cutting-edge surgeries involve implanting stents with minimally-invasive techniques. Though some surgery types are not common enough for their effectiveness to be established, they may be a viable option for patients who have not responded well to other treatment options.

Of course, any treatment plan should be done in full consultation with an eye doctor with experience in dealing with glaucoma. While patient preference plays a role in treatment options, your doctor will be able to tell you if certain options have a low likelihood of success or are too risky for your case.

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