What Are the Various Treatment Options Available for Glaucoma?
An eye disorder which has an ability to make you blind is called glaucoma. This eye ailment increases your risk of blindness if not treated on time. Unfortunately, this condition has no cure available yet. However, with the help of medicines and other alternative treatment options, you can manage this eye condition and can keep the risk of blindness low. Let’s learn more about glaucoma and various treatment options available for the same.
What is glaucoma?
It is an eye condition in which the internal pressure of an eye increases abnormally causing tremendous pressure on the optic nerve. The nerve is responsible for sending rays reflected from the objects captured by the retina to the brain and thus contributes in developing images so that you can see things.
In glaucoma, the fluid present inside the eyes does not get drained out. It happens due to damaged or malfunctioning drainage tubes located in the eyes. What causes this damage is unknown and that is why treating glaucoma is a challenge in front of doctors. When the eye issue is not treated on time, the optic nerve gets damaged due to the pressure and the sufferer becomes blind.
Medicines such as eye drops are available in the market which helps in keeping the eye pressure in check. However, it is not a cure and hence you need to keep using these eye drops throughout the lifetime.
What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
- African origin
- Thin corneas
- Eye injuries
- Excessive use of steroid based eye drops
- Family history of trauma or anaemia
The above-mentioned risk factors increase your chances of developing this eye condition.
What causes glaucoma?
The exact reason is not known yet for the root causes of glaucoma. It is said that due to high internal pressure, the optic nerve compresses in size. Reduced flow of blood to the optic nerve is also one of the reasons for glaucoma to occur. It has been observed that people with normal eye pressure have also developed glaucoma and thus this reason is not sufficient to be listed as one of the causes of glaucoma.
Glaucoma does not show any warning signs or symptoms and therefore, it is pretty much difficult to locate the eye issue at its first stage. The condition is irreversible and once it occurs, it is difficult to get a healthy eye sight back. You can read more about the types of glaucoma from the webmd website and its medical treatment.
The motto of glaucoma treatment is to slow down the progression of the disease and reduced the risk of blindness. Regular screening to check the progression of the disease is important. One must know that treatment for glaucoma can save the remaining vision but it is not possible to restore the lost vision.
Medicines, laser and conventional surgical methods are used to treat glaucoma. In certain cases, combination of these two is important to save the vision.
Medicines for glaucoma
Your doctor might keep you on pills of eye drops to treat glaucoma. These medicines are important to reduce the internal pressure so that the optic nerve remains protected for longer period of time.
These medicines normally do not cause severe side effects however some people might complain of headaches or other symptoms. It is wise to keep your doctor updated about these side effects.
It is a laser surgery for glaucoma which helps in easy drainage of the accumulated fluid within the eye thus helping in relieving symptoms. The laser radiation makes tiny cuts to enlarge the drainage holes so that draining of eye fluid becomes easier. Inflammation is common with this type of surgery. Follow-ups post surgery is required to check on the healing process.
Conventional surgery for glaucoma
A new opening for the drainage of the fluid is made surgically. This is the last opted alternative when none of the available treatment options seem to work. A specialized eye drops can be used to prevent any infections and reddening in the eye. Less sharp vision is the side effect of conventional surgery.
Glaucoma needs to be treated on time. As mentioned earlier, it is not possible to locate the eye issue because it shows no warning signs. However, one must go for periodic eye check-ups after a certain age.