Can You Have Glaucoma and Treat It at The Same Time?
Read & Share
Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause permanent vision loss over time if left untreated. Although glaucoma is not curable, your eye doctor can detect glaucoma during routine eye exams and start treatment immediately.
Visiting your eye doctor for routine eye exams is essential to ensure your eyes are healthy and that your vision is preserved. Keep reading to learn if you can have glaucoma and treat it at the same time!
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, leading to irreversible vision loss. Also called the silent thief of sight, glaucoma is caused by fluid buildup inside the eye.
Fluid is constantly being made inside the eye and must cycle out of the eye to maintain a healthy eye pressure. If this fluid is restricted when exiting the eye, or the eye is creating too much fluid, the result is increased eye pressure.
Increased eye pressure can damage the eye’s optic nerve, causing changes in your vision. The optic nerve is responsible for sending information to the brain so you can see.
Before diagnosis, many people with glaucoma do not notice any changes in their eyes or vision because the condition progresses slowly.
Treatment for Glaucoma
There are various treatment methods for glaucoma. Prescription eye drops and laser procedures are often the first treatment methods eye doctors use for glaucoma.
All glaucoma treatment aims to control eye pressure and prevent damage to your optic nerve.
Prescription eye drops are typically the first line of treatment. There are many different categories of drops that work slightly different to lower eye pressure.
Some prescription eye drops used to treat glaucoma aim to decrease fluid production in your eye. Beta-blockers can also be prescribed together with other medications for optimal outcomes.
This class of drops improves fluid drainage from your eye, which helps to lower eye pressure. Many eye doctors use prostaglandins to treat a type of glaucoma called open-angle glaucoma.
- Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
Like beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitor eye drops slow the eye’s fluid production. Sometimes eye doctors will use carbonic anhydrase inhibitors with a second glaucoma treatment drop to help lower the eye pressure.
- Alpha Adrenergic Agonists
Alpha agonists work by increasing fluid outflow. These drops also reduce the amount of fluid produced in the eyes, lowering eye pressure.
Laser Procedures for Glaucoma
Your eye doctor may recommend glaucoma laser treatment if medicated eye drops do not lower eye pressure effectively.
Your eye doctor may recommend a laser iridotomy if you have a type of glaucoma called narrow-angle glaucoma. During a laser iridotomy, your eye surgeon creates a tiny hole in the iris, enabling the fluid to drain faster.
For those who have narrow-angle glaucoma, a laser iridotomy can help fluid move out of the eye smoothly, decreasing eye pressure.
Many eye doctors perform a laser trabeculoplasty on people who have open-angle glaucoma. During a trabeculoplasty, your eye doctor stimulates a portion of the eye’s drainage system called the trabecular meshwork.
The trabecular meshwork comprises tiny channels that allow fluid to flow from your eye. By stimulating the trabecular meshwork, fluid drains more easily from the front part of your eye, which brings your eye pressure down.
Have You Scheduled Your Routine Eye Exams Yet?
Early detection and treatment of glaucoma are essential for sight preservation. The best way to prevent any vision loss is through routine eye exams.
At your routine eye exam, your eye doctor can effectively diagnose and treat glaucoma to prevent any further changes in your vision.
Are you ready to schedule a comprehensive eye exam to be proactive about your eye health? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona, in Phoenix, AZ, today!