Glaucoma is an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged it cannot send images from the eye to the brain correctly.
Currently there is no cure for glaucoma, only treatment to slow the process or stop it. At Howerton Eye, it is our goal to detect glaucoma early and prevent the loss of vision. If you suffer from glaucoma, call or visit one of our offices in Kyle and Austin, TX today. Our excellent eye doctors and trained staff will be able to assist you in finding the most appropriate treatment to meet your needs. For the most part, glaucoma is primarily treated with eye drops, pills, laser surgery, microsurgery, or a combination of these treatments.
Eye drops control the pressure of fluids in your eye by either reducing the formation of fluid or increasing its outflow. Eye drops do have some side effects to be aware of though. Since eye drops are absorbed through your eye and into your bloodstream, it’s imperative that you tell your eye doctor about all of the medications you are currently taking before you make eye drops a part of your regular routine; some prescriptions can be harmful when mixed together with eye drops. Other minor side effects from eye drops may include slight stinging of the eye, redness, allergies, blurred vision, and irritated eyes. Every patient reacts differently, so it’s important to discuss any reaction with your eye doctor.
Sometimes eye drops are not enough for a patient and a combination of eye drops and medication must be used. Glaucoma medication is normally in pill form and works to decrease the flow of fluid within the eye and actually slow down fluid production as well. Depending on the patient and the type of medication, these pills are usually taken two to four times per day. Again, it’s important to share with all of your doctors which medications you are taking to ensure you do not experience any harmful effects.
Depending on your specific case of glaucoma, you may need more fluid flowing out of the eye or to unblock the existing fluid. Laser surgery can help with both! Laser surgery can increase the flow of fluid from the eye for patients with open-angle glaucoma and it can stop a fluid blockade for patients with angle-closure glaucoma. The basic process includes three steps:
- Trabeculoplasty: opening the drainage area
- Iridotomy: making a small hole in the iris to allow fluid to flow more freely
- Cyclophotocoagulation: treating the middle layer area of your eye to reduce the fluid production
You can discuss with your eye doctor if laser surgery is an appropriate option for you. As with all surgical procedures there are some risks that you’ll want to be aware of. Whether this is the treatment for you or not though, you can feel confident that you will be in great hands at Howerton Eye.
Microsurgery is the most invasive method of glaucoma treatment, but often needed in the most severe cases and for those who have congenital glaucoma, meaning they were born with it. In microsurgery, your eye doctor will perform a surgery called a trabeculectomy, where a new channel will be created for the fluid to drain and, thus, reduce eye pressure. A tube may also be implanted in your eye to help the fluid drain more easily.
Being the most invasive option, microsurgery does have the most risk. The surgery can cause temporary or permanent vision loss, bleeding, and infection. Depending on the patient and his or her type of glaucoma, the surgery may not work the first time either. In this case, your eye doctor may suggest repeating the surgery.
The Right Treatment for You!
All patients are different and may need different forms of treatment for their glaucoma. At Howerton Eye, our eye doctors will discuss all the options with you and answer any questions you may have. We will be able to assess your type of glaucoma and determine which treatment or combination of treatments will be best for you. To learn more about these treatments, call or visit our offices in Kyle and Austin, TX today! Let us help you with your glaucoma symptoms and find a solution that is right for you!