If you were recently diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be nervous. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that has no cure.
But, there are treatment options available for saving any remaining vision in patients. How you choose to treat your glaucoma depends on the extent of the damage that’s already occurred.
Detecting glaucoma can be quite difficult as it has almost no symptoms. This means that most patients with glaucoma don’t realize it until they’ve already suffered vision loss.
Any vision loss due to glaucoma is permanent and irreversible. Glaucoma never goes away but the right treatment can help it stop progressing.
Keep reading to learn more about treating glaucoma, including an option called SLT!
Eye Drops and Pills
If you have glaucoma, the first treatment your eye doctor will usually start with is eye drops. To understand how these treatments work, you have to know how glaucoma damages vision.
The most common form of glaucoma occurs when there is a slight blockage of an important drainage system in your eye. As your eye produces fluid, less is able to leave and be cycled through.
This causes a steady rise in internal eye pressure. As the pressure mounts, it presses onto the optic nerve at the back of the eye harder and harder.
This eventually causes damage. The optic nerve is a complex cable of nerves. Once damage occurs, it is permanent and irreversible. There are no other symptoms, which is what makes it so hard to detect.
Glaucoma eye drops work by either relaxing muscles in the eye to allow better flow of eye fluid or reducing the production of fluid in the eye. Sometimes doctors will target both.
Some people may need to use a combination of glaucoma eye drops and oral medication to get what they need out of their treatment.
What is SLT?
In rare circumstances, internal eye pressure is so high that immediate relief of pressure is necessary. This is where a laser trabeculectomy comes in. The goal of this procedure is to create a new opening inside of the eye for fluid to drain from.
Pinke Eye Center was one of the first eye care offices in Connecticut to offer Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, which is unique. This operation opens the trabecular meshwork that is supposed to drain the eye.
SLT is an important upgrade to a traditional trabeculoplasty, as it is painless and can be performed as many times as needed. There are few side effects, if any, and no recovery time as there is no incision.
After most glaucoma surgeries, you will still need to continue taking medications for your glaucoma. They are not designed as a replacement to drops, but as more of an emergency release.
With SLT, you can avoid using drops altogether, as it can be performed many times to lower pressure in the eye. SLT is best for patients with primary or secondary open-angle glaucoma who need to lower their intraocular pressure.
Finding out if you have glaucoma is essential to preventing vision loss. Come get tested as soon as you can!
Concerned that you may have glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT! When it comes to glaucoma, you should never wait, because your vision is on the line.