Glaucoma currently has no known cure but can be treated to make daily life more manageable.
It is important to note that “glaucoma” does not refer to just one condition but actually to a collection of conditions that cause vision loss over time. Glaucoma is primarily caused by damage to the optic nerve; the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. The damage is typically the result of high eye pressure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type and it results in gradual vision loss. However, there are rarer types of glaucoma such as angle-closure glaucoma where medical treatment must be sought immediately.
Glaucoma can be treated with several approaches. There is a collection of prescription drugs that can be administered into the eye as beta-blocking eye drops. The particular drug that may work for your condition will depend on your personal health history, allergies, and current state of your eyes. Sometimes, it is beneficial to use more than one type of these drugs in combination, customizing them so that they are most effective for your particular case. Our doctors take many factors into account when prescribing the right medication for you.
In addition to drops and prescriptions, you may be a good candidate for laser surgery or trabeculoplasty. There are several types of these surgeries including LASIK and the choice will again depend on your particular condition. The reason and main function to perform surgery is to reduce the pressure in the eye, so that damage on the optic nerve is lessened and vision loss is reduced or restored to some degree. Usually, medication is still needed post-surgery to control this pressure, yet the amounts can be significantly lowered and quality of life improved. There is a slightly increased risk in developing cataracts once glaucoma surgery is performed but the benefits of alleviating glaucoma far outweighs the risk. Eye Michigan is committed to providing the most current information for our patients to make the best plan of action for each individual’s situation.