Glaucoma is a serious condition where the pressure within the eye/s rises, causing damage to the anatomy of the structures inside. Left untreated, this pressure can increase to dangerous levels and will eventually cause blindness.
Understanding more about the condition (and learning about the extremely effective treatment options) is key to allaying any fears you might have if you or a loved one has been diagnosed. Read on to learn about glaucoma and the different ways that doctors can approach the problem.
- A quick overview of Glaucoma
- Glaucoma: the worst-case scenario
A quick overview of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a common condition. It’s caused by a fluid buildup within the chamber of the eye. As you can imagine, this causes the pressure within the cavity to rise. This compresses the nerve that transmits light entering the eye to the brain.
When this nerve, called the optic nerve, becomes compressed, the signals cannot travel freely to the brain. While, initially, this is usually asymptomatic, as the pressure continues to rise and further squashes the optic nerve, visual issues, such as blurring or seeing halos around lights, begin to evolve.
Glaucoma: the worst-case scenario
Without treatment, the pressure within the eye continues to increase and the nerve becomes more and more damaged. Eventually, the signals will be unable to pass to the brain at all. This can lead to total loss of sight.
Glaucoma can occur at any age but is most common in the later decades of life. The pressures within both eyes are routinely assessed at your regular eye checks. This is done by directing a small puff of air into each eye
Glaucoma checks are just one reason why adhering to the advised schedule of routine eye exams is so important.
- Traditional glaucoma treatment
- Glaucoma dropless therapy
Traditional glaucoma treatment
Traditional treatment for glaucoma consists of eyedrops to reduce the pressure. These are applied up to 4 times per day and you might have a combination of different medications. For many people, this is effective—at least in the short term.
Research has brought about many other types of treatment. These are commonly known as dropless therapy.
Glaucoma dropless therapy
These treatments that don’t involve eye drops and includes:
Laser treatment: There are multiple types, all of which are designed to prevent fluid buildup within the eye.
- Laser trabeculoplasty opens up the drainage tubes within the eye
- Cyclodiode laser removes some of the tissues that are producing the fluid
- Iridotomy makes tiny holes within the iris to allow the fluid to drain more freely
These laser treatments are usually extremely effective. However, in a small number of cases where they don’t work, surgery might be needed.
Surgical glaucoma treatment: Similar to laser treatments, surgical intervention is designed to help the fluid within the eye drain more easily. There are different types:
- Trabeculectomy removes some of the drainage tubes within the eye
- Trabeculotomy uses electrical current to remove some of the drainage system
- Visocanalostomy removes some of the sclera (white of the eye) to help drainage
- Deep sclerectomy widens the drainage tubes
- Trabecular stent bypass places an additional drainage tube within the eye
The key takeaway is that glaucoma is best treated when discovered early. Minimal intervention at this stage might be all that’s needed. If diagnosed, it’s vital to partner with a specialist glaucoma ophthalmologist to benefit from the right treatment at the right time to ensure your eyesight doesn’t deteriorate more than necessary.
Want the Ultimate Glaucoma Treatment? Contact the West Boca Eye Center Today
The WBEC is a world-leading clinical facility that offers cutting-edge services for all areas of eye health. This includes glaucoma—and the game-changing treatments that are glaucoma dropless therapy.
Led by globally renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Brent Bellotte, the clinical team is one of the best on the planet.
Don’t let glaucoma blight your quality of life. Head to our glaucoma therapy service page to discover more and call today to book your initial consultation.