Glaucoma is, for now, an incurable condition. It is extremely damaging to eyesight, and worst of all, it is extraordinarily hard to detect, earning it the nickname “the silent thief of sight”. This may make you wonder what glaucoma treatments are available.
Fortunately, while it is impossible to reverse the damage done by uncontrolled glaucoma, it is possible to mitigate the extent of the damage by stopping it from getting worse. In order to understand how glaucoma treatment works, however, it is necessary to understand how glaucoma damages your eyesight.
A Brief Overview of Glaucoma
Certain conditions can affect your eye to increase its internal pressure. When this pressure builds up enough to damage your optic nerve, this is what is known as glaucoma. The optic nerve is a sensitive part of your body that essentially connects your eye to your brain, transferring the data collected from your retina and turning it into information. Some people have “tough” optic nerves and may be more resilient to high eye pressure. However, left unchecked, the pressure will eventually build up enough to damage their optic nerve as well.
The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. It is given this name due to the fact that even though the drainage part of the eye is open, it is still blocked and drains too slowly. There is also angle-closure glaucoma, in which the drainage angle actually becomes completely blocked off. This form of glaucoma is much rarer, but much more dangerous as the increase of pressure can be so rapid that it can have devastating and painful results in a fraction of the time. In some cases, people can have glaucoma with no increase in eye pressure at all. The cause of glaucoma is still not completely understood.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
The goal of glaucoma treatment is not to reverse the disease, but to prevent more damage from occurring. This is achieved by lowering the internal eye pressure, which can be done through a variety of methods.
Perhaps the most common way of dealing with glaucoma is with special eye drops. They can work by either allowing the fluid inside the eye to flow through the drainage angle or by slowing down the production of the fluid altogether. In any case, it is extremely important to use the drops as recommended and as frequently as the directions say. Medicine may also be taken in pill form or sometimes taken in tandem with each other.
Trabeculoplasty is one of the surgical options for glaucoma. This particular surgery is used for open-angle glaucoma and works by increasing drainage performance. The surgical option for angle-closure glaucoma is called an iridotomy and works by perforating the iris to allow better drainage.
Early Detection is a Must
While treatment is very effective at halting the progress of glaucoma, it only truly works if you catch it early on, before vision is lost. The only way to do that is to schedule regular appointments with Bennett & Bloom in Louisville and Jeffersonville, KY. Contact us today and live life in control of your glaucoma!