Glaucoma is a permanent disease that damages the optic nerve in your eyes. It has no cure. However, that hasn’t stopped the medical community from looking for ways to help prevent further eye damage. Today, there are a few treatment options available if you have glaucoma, including medication, laser trabeculoplasty, and filtering surgery.
In most cases, glaucoma can be managed with eye drop medication. When used daily, eye drops help lower eye pressure. Similar to blood pressure, eye pressure measures the fluid pressure inside your eye. Eye drops work by reducing levels of aqueous fluid inside the eye, thereby improving the flow of the liquid through drainage angles. While eye drops can help you see more clearly, they come with a variety of potential side effects, including:
Laser trabeculoplasty is another treatment option for glaucoma. It is a type of laser surgery that focuses on relieving intraocular pressure in the eye. Oftentimes, it is only used when eye drops fail to lower the eye pressure or if the eye drops are causing unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects. The laser trabeculoplasty procedure is pretty straightforward. It starts by applying laser energy to the drainage tissue in your eye. This action starts a biological and chemical change in your eye tissue. The result is better fluid drainage. However, the results aren’t instant. In many cases, it might take anywhere from one to three months to notice results.
Filtration surgery, also known as trabeculectomy, is a procedure that removes a piece of tissue in your eye’s drainage angle. This creates an opening for fluid to drain out of the eye. Your doctor will partially cover the opening with a bit of tissue from the white part of your eye, known as the sclera, and the clear covering over the sclera, known as the conjunctiva. Over time, this tissue will form a tiny blister or bleb. The bleb is what your doctor will check during office visits to ensure the fluid is still draining from the opening.
Glaucoma drainage implants are small devices placed inside your eye to treat glaucoma. Think of it as a type of shunt that is used to lower pressure in your eye. The implant has two parts, including a plate and a small tube. During a drainage implant procedure, your doctor will insert the tube into your eye, allowing fluid to drain out. From there, they will attach the plate to the tube, and then position it under the skin of your eye. This creates a small pool, or bleb, where fluid can drain through the shunt.
Do you suffer from glaucoma? If you’re experiencing vision problems associated with glaucoma, or suspect you may be developing glaucoma, Urban Optics can help. Give our office in College Station, Texas, a call today at (979) 401-0800 to schedule a consultation.