Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve. It has no cure and can cause blindness if left untreated. When the condition is detected early, eye doctors can manage the condition with a host of different treatment options, including eye drops, oral medications, and even surgery.
As with many medical conditions, there are a few risk factors to look out for when it comes to glaucoma. Genetics, for one, plays a role. Age is also a factor, especially if you’re over the age of 60. Additionally, certain ethnic groups are more at risk than others, such as African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. Other risk factors include having high blood pressure, myopia, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases.
When diagnosing glaucoma, your eye doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam. The exam may include checking your eye pressure, inspecting your eye’s drainage angle, checking the optic nerve for damage, testing your side vision, measuring your optic nerve, and measuring the thickness of your cornea. Depending on the findings, a variety of different treatment options may be proposed.
Even though glaucoma can’t be cured, there are treatment options available to slow its progress and help make the condition more bearable to live with. Eye drops are a popular treatment method. When used regularly, they help decrease eye pressure. However, if your glaucoma is more advanced, your eye doctor may recommend oral medication or surgery. An oral medication, such as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, can help lower your eye pressure more than eye drops. If a more aggressive treatment method is still needed, your doctor may recommend surgery to drain fluid from your eye and lower your eye pressure. Laser therapy, filtering surgery, drainage tubes, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery are some of the more common procedures your doctor may recommend.
Laser therapy is often done in your doctor’s office. The procedure involves your doctor using a laser beam to help open clogged channels, improving fluid drainage.
Filtering surgery, also known as trabeculectomy, is a procedure that involves your doctor creating an opening in the sclera. The sclera is the white part of your eye. From there, they remove part of the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is the area of tissue in your eye located near the base of the cornea.
Drainage tubes refer to a procedure where your eye doctor will insert small tube shunts in your eye. These tubes help fluid drain from your eye, which helps lower the pressure in your eye.
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery is another procedure that helps lower your eye pressure. Oftentimes, the procedure is done during cataract surgery and is less risky than installing drainage tubes or undergoing a trabeculectomy procedure.
There are other ways to help treat glaucoma, including several remedies you can do from the comfort of your home. Some of these include:
Eating a healthy diet.
Drinking water frequently.
Elevating your head when sleeping.
Do you suspect you may have glaucoma? If so, contact Federal Hill Eye Care in Baltimore, Maryland, at (401) 752-8208 to schedule an eye exam.