How Does Glaucoma Treatment Work?

Mar 15, 2022

Cataract Surgery at Levin Eyecare

Glaucoma is a progressive disease that can permanently damage vision if left untreated. The vision changes caused by glaucoma are often so gradual that you may not notice them. 

Early detection is a significant factor in treating glaucoma before vision damage occurs. Keep reading to learn how glaucoma treatment works!

Eye Pressure 

Fluid is constantly being created inside your eye. Once the fluid has had a chance to deliver its nutrients, it cycles out of the eye through a meshwork drainage system.

When this drain becomes partially blocked, the fluid has nowhere to go, and the eye pressure can rise. Sometimes, too much fluid is being created too fast, which can also cause the eye pressure to rise.

As the eye pressure builds, it begins to damage a structure at the back of the eye. This structure is the optic nerve, and it is a vital component of eyesight.

The buildup of eye pressure is so gradual that even though it might be damaging your vision, you may not notice it. Your eye doctor monitors your eye pressure levels by performing a test called tonometry on your eyes. 

They can compare your eye pressure readings with expected levels of pressure, as well as to your previous pressure readings. High eye pressure is not the only factor influencing a glaucoma diagnosis, but it is an indicator.

Your eye doctor can detect glaucoma at your routine eye exams through thorough testing and examination. The best way to prevent vision damage associated with glaucoma from happening is with an early diagnosis. 

Eye Drop Medication

Glaucoma medication is delivered through eye drops, although some patients may also take an oral supplement. This medication aims to manage your eye pressure.

The prescription eye drops work by either relaxing the muscles in your eye to allow fluid to flow freely or by slowing the production of new fluid. In some cases, these prescription eye drops can target both areas.

Glaucoma eye drops need to be taken consistently in order to work. Stopping treatment will cause eye pressure to rise again and continue to damage the optic nerve. 

Your eye doctor will provide you with a regimen to follow. Be sure to discuss your medication plan in detail with your eye doctor.

What About Surgery? 

In some cases, your eye doctor may recommend surgery to quickly relieve pressure inside the eye. In some cases, installing a bypass channel may be necessary to lower eye pressure. 

This bypass channel allows the fluid to leave the eye faster, which can help lower the eye pressure. Your eye doctor may recommend glaucoma surgery if your glaucoma is in an advanced stage and other treatment options are not working. 

Another treatment options eye doctors sometimes resort to is a laser procedure. This laser works to open up the meshwork drainage channel to release more fluid.

When you visit your eye doctor for glaucoma management, they will determine the best route to help treat the eye pressure. Those with glaucoma often need to see their eye doctor more frequently to have their eye pressure tested.

Do you want to learn more about the different ways your eye doctor treats glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Levin Eyecare in Baltimore, MD, today!


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