What Are The Different Treatments For Glaucoma?

Posted on: 31 January 2016


Glaucoma is a serious condition of the eye that can lead to permanent blindness if not treated correctly. It is commonly caused by diabetes which makes the fluid pressure levels in the eye become dangerously high. This damages the optic nerve and can result in vision loss. The type of treatment used for glaucoma depends on how severe the condition is. These are some different ways that glaucoma is treated to keep it from progressing further.


If glaucoma is diagnosed early, it is possible to treat it with medications. These medications are in the form of prescription strength eye drops. This medication can decrease the amount of fluid that is produced in the eye or can increase the fluid outflow of the eye. This relieves pressure in the eye and helps prevent glaucoma from becoming more severe.

Laser Surgery 

If prescription eye drops do not improve the condition, laser surgery is often performed to treat glaucoma. This is known as laser trabeculoplasty. When this surgery is performed tiny holes are burned with a laser into the filtration angle of the eye where the cornea and the iris meet. This can help fluid drain from the eye more easily so that the pressure is relieved.

Another form of laser eye surgery that is used to treat glaucoma is laser iridotomy. This procedure uses a laser beam to create a hole on the outer rim of the iris. This allows the fluid in the front chamber of the eye to flow to the chamber behind the iris so that the pressure on the eye is relieved properly.

Surgical Trabeculectomy 

For more severe cases of glaucoma, it may be necessary to perform an actual surgical procedure on the eye. This is known as a trabeculectomy. In this procedure, part of the eye's drain system is surgically removed so the opening is larger for excess fluid to drain. It is during this surgery that shunts or stents used for glaucoma patients are often implanted into the eye.

These devices are placed in the eye to increase the amount of fluid that is drained. Shunts and stents work well for those who have especially high pressure levels because the fluid drains relatively quickly. Shunts and stents are often made of silicone or collagen gel materials to help ensure they are comfortable.

While damage that has already occurred from glaucoma cannot be reversed, these treatments help prevent the condition from getting worse. Even those who have had laser or surgical procedures performed to treat their glaucoma may still need to continue using prescription eye drops to keep their eye pressure levels regulated. Click for more information.