Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma. Treatment of this degenerative disease focuses on keeping the intraocular pressure (IOP) low in order to prevent further damage and harming of the optic nerve.

There are three types of glaucoma treatments:

  • Prescription eye drop regiment
  • Laser treatment
  • Glaucoma filtration surgery

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Eye Drops

Eye drops are the most common form of medication for glaucoma. For most, eyedrops are applied one to four times a day on a regular schedule

Five types of eyedrops are used in modern ophthalmology:

  • Beta blockers
  • Topical prostaglandins
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • Adrenergic agonists
  • Miotics

While these drops are effective, they may not work for everyone. In addition, a strict eye drop regiment may affect one’s quality of life as eyedrops need to be taken as often as every 6 hours. Sometimes these drops may cause an allergic reaction. If your eyes become red and puffy, stop the drops and contact an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Drops can also cause local side effects such as burning, stinging, tearing, itching, or redness in the eye. One example of a common side effect is that beta blocker eyerops, such as Timolol, can lower blood pressure at the same time as they lower intra-ocular pressure. These side effects can be minimized by carefully following instructions for using eyedrops, including placing a finger on the inside corner of the eye for two or three minutes to prevent the eyedrops from entering the nasal ducts.

Laser Treatment

Glaucoma laser treatments include:

Check out our Glaucoma Treatment Technology section to learn more about glaucoma laser treatment and lasers used for these procedures.

Surgical Treatment

Glaucoma surgery includes a number of procedures designed to lower the IOP by improving the outflow of fluid from the eye. These procedures are sometimes performed solo and sometimes in combination with cataract surgery. These are:

  • Trabeculectomy with or without antimetabolites
  • Placement of glaucoma shunt devices, such as a Barveldt or Ahmed Valve
  • Viscocanalostomy procedure

Penetrating glaucoma surgeries listed here are performed in a surgical center in an outpatient setting. They require close postoperative follow up and care.

Contact Benjamin Eye Institute

Check out our Glaucoma Treatment Technology section to learn more about glaucoma laser treatment and lasers used for these procedures.

Continue reading about glaucoma treatments, such as iridotomy. Call today to schedule your eye exam at Benjamin Eye Institute at 310.507.7988.

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