Treatment for Glaucoma

The treatment for glaucoma is aimed at minimizing the intraocular pressure by ensuring that the outflow of the aqueous liquid is not disrupted. It is not possible to completely cure glaucoma however with timely treatment the loss of vision can be minimal and further loss of vision can be prevented.

The treatment for glaucoma will typically begin with the use of medicated eye drops which need to be administered as per the specifications provided by the optometrist. Some eye drops tend to get absorbed into the blood stream and hence the person may experience certain mild side effects. Some of the common types of eye drops are beta blockers, Prostaglandin-like compounds, alpha-agonists, Miotic or cholinergic agents, Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, Epinephrine compounds. Along with eye drops the treatment for glaucoma will also include the use of certain oral medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitor which need to be taken post eating so that the side effects are minimal.

The medication to lower the fluid pressure would be just one side of the treatment for glaucoma. In addition to these medications, the doctor will also prescribe certain medications that are aimed at protecting the optic fiber nerve and preserving vision.

Surgery is also a treatment option for people diagnosed with glaucoma to lower the intraocular pressure.

  • Surgical options for glaucoma include laser surgery wherein the doctor will use a high energy laser beam to open the drainage canals which may be blocked and so this surgery stabilizes the outflow of the aqueous humor.
  • Another type of surgery for the treatment of glaucoma is known as the filtering surgery wherein the patient is administered eye drops to relax the eye and thereafter the surgeon will create an opening in the sclera which will allow the aqueous humor fluid to exit from the eye easily thereby lowering the intraocular pressure.
  • Drainage implant surgery is also used to treat glaucoma in children as well as secondary glaucoma wherein the surgeon will drain the aqueous humor by inserting a small silicone tube into the eye.

Frequently asked questions
  1. David F. Garway-Heath, Early diagnosis in glaucoma, In: Carlo Nucci, Luciano Cerulli, Neville N. Osborne and Giacinto Bagetta, Editor(s), Progress in Brain Research, Elsevier, 2008, Volume 173, Pages 47-57, ISSN 0079-6123, ISBN 9780444532565, 10.1016/S0079-6123(08)01105-9.
  2. M. Mozaffarieh, M.C. Grieshaber, S. Orgül, J. Flammer, The Potential Value of Natural Antioxidative Treatment in Glaucoma, Survey of Ophthalmology, Volume 53, Issue 5, September–October 2008, Pages 479-505, ISSN 0039-6257, 10.1016/j.survophthal.2008.06.006.
  3. Matthias Monhart, What Are the Options of Psychophysical Approaches in Glaucoma?, Survey of Ophthalmology, Volume 52, Issue 6, Supplement, November 2007, Pages S127-S133, ISSN 0039-6257, 10.1016/j.survophthal.2007.08.007.