Medical Treatments for Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when pressure increases in the eyes. Pressure in the eyes can cause nerve damage. Drugs and infections can also cause glaucoma. Prescription medications can treat the symptoms and slow the progression of glaucoma, but medical treatments cannot reverse the condition. Vision loss can be prevented if the condition is caught in the early stages of glaucoma. Glaucoma treatments reduce pressure in the eyes. There are several ways to treat the symptoms of glaucoma, and a doctor can determine the best treatment option. The doctor may recommend laser treatment, eye drops or a surgical procedure.

Eye Drops

Prescription eye drops can be used to treat glaucoma. The drops drain fluid and remove pressure from the eyes. Prostaglandin increases the amount of fluid released from the eyes. Prostaglandin drops can cause stinging pain, darkening iris and color changes in the eyelashes. Some glaucoma patients experience blurred vision after taking Prostaglandin eye drops. Beta blockers limit the amount of fluid the eyes can produce. Since there is less fluid in the eye, there is less pressure in the eye. Beta blockers can decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure and cause shallow breathing. Some men experience impotence after taking beta blocker eye drops.

Eye Surgery

Surgery can also be used to treat glaucoma. Pain, infection and inflammation are side effects of a surgical procedure. In some people, an operation prevents the development of cataracts. People who opt for a surgical procedure will need to follow up with a doctor for more eye exams. If the eye pressure continues after the procedure, the patient may need more surgeries.

Laser Therapy

Laser surgery can drain fluid from the eyes, and the procedure can be done in a doctor’s office. It can take weeks to notice the full benefits of the procedure. A doctor can also use a tube to drain fluid from the eyes.

Glaucoma requires ongoing treatment. Patients need frequent eye exams to reduce the chances of the condition progressing to blindness. Most doctors recommend people with signs of glaucoma get an eye health exam three times a year.