What To Know About Treating Your Glaucoma

Posted on: 7 March 2017

If you've just been diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor probably has you on medication, as eye drops are often the first line of treatment in the early stages. One important thing to know about your treatment is that it's very important to comply with your doctor's instructions for taking the medication. Glaucoma often has no noticeable symptoms, but that doesn't mean it isn't damaging your eyes. It causes gradual loss of vision, so you want to take the medications as ordered to slow or stop the progression of the condition. If your glaucoma becomes advanced, your doctor may have to try other treatments. Here is a look at the treatment options for glaucoma.

Prescription Medications

Glaucoma medication is usually taken in the form of eye drops. There are also oral drugs your eye doctor can order if the eye drops don't work well enough on their own. The purpose of glaucoma medication is to decrease the pressure in your eyes that's caused by fluid buildup. This can be done in a couple of different ways. Some drugs decrease the amount of fluid that's produced so there is less fluid to create pressure in the eyes. Other drugs increase the drainage of fluid from the eyes so it doesn't have a chance to accumulate and build pressure.

Eye drops come in different strengths and brands. Your doctor chooses one for you based on your medical history and your eye pressure. You'll put the eye drops in on a daily basis and have your eye pressure checked regularly on a schedule set by your eye doctor. You may need to have your medication adjusted until you find one that brings down your eye pressure to a safe level.

Surgical Procedures

If taking medication doesn't control your eye pressure, or if there is some reason you can't take eye drops, then your eye doctor may recommend a surgical treatment for your glaucoma. One of these is a laser procedure that opens up clogs in your eye that prevent fluid drainage. With the clogs gone, the fluid can escape more easily. This treatment isn't suitable for everyone, and you may not see results from it right away. Other procedures involve cutting out the clogged portions of your eye that contribute to your glaucoma and inserting tubes that keep the drainage channels open.

The type of treatment your doctor recommends depends in part on the type of glaucoma you have. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type, and it affects the mesh drainage network of your eye. This is where clogs form that prevent drainage and cause the pressure to increase in your eye. The other type of glaucoma is narrow-angle glaucoma. It is less common, and it can be more serious. The blockage in this condition is caused by the angle of the drainage tube from your eye. Sudden clogs can cause symptoms such as nausea and seeing halos. If you don't seek immediate treatment, you could even lose your vision.

Since the two types of glaucoma have different causes and treatments, you want to know the type you have and the symptoms to watch for. Always take your eye medication as ordered and let your eye doctor know if you have a change in your vision or develop new symptoms in your eyes.

For more information, contact an eye doctor, such as those at Coastal Eye Care.