How Is Glaucoma Treated?

With early detection and treatment, glaucoma can almost always be controlled and vision preserved.  However, glaucoma cannot be cured and once vision has been lost it cannot be restored.  A combination of eye drops, medication, laser treatment and conventional surgery is used to treat glaucoma.  Treatment is concentrated on lowering the pressure inside the eye to prevent damage to the optic nerve.

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The most common treatment for glaucoma is the use of medication in the form of eye drops and pills.   Some medications allow for faster drainage of fluid from the eye, while others reduce the production of fluid.

Because medications and eye drops can cause undesirable side effects or simply fail to control glaucoma, alternative methods of treatment may be needed.  In some cases, laser treatment is performed to control glaucoma.  A laser is used to improve drainage and reduce fluid pressure.  If these methods fail to decrease fluid pressure, conventional surgery may be required to create a new drainage channel.

Treatment of glaucoma is usually a lifelong process.  Glaucoma management requires frequent monitoring and constant treatment.  Since there is no way to determine if glaucoma is under control based on how a person feels or their vision, a person with glaucoma generally should be examined every 3 to 4 months for the rest of their lives.