More than three million people in the United States have glaucoma, which is a group of eye disorders that can progressively damage your optic nerve. Unfortunately, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States. Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options and we offer them here.
The team of ophthalmologists and optometrists here at Suburban Eye Associates prides itself on providing the latest treatment protocols for potentially vision-robbing eye disorders like glaucoma and cataracts.
In the following, we review three of the more effective treatment options for the most common form of glaucoma — open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma accounts for a majority of diagnoses — 2.7 million of the 3 million people who have the eye disorder.
Open-angle glaucoma is a progressive condition, which means the sooner we’re able to identify and treat the problem, the better your outcome. If we’ve diagnosed you with glaucoma, one of our first lines of defense are eye drops that relieve the intraocular pressure in your eyes.
There are several different types of eye drops that tackle the pressure problem in different ways. For example, some eye drops work by increasing the outflow of fluids in your eyes, while others decrease the production of aqueous fluid in your eyes, as well as decrease venous pressure in your eyes.
When we start you on eye drops, we monitor the pressure in your eyes very closely and make any necessary changes in these medications along the way.
When you have open-angle glaucoma, the increased pressure in your eyes is typically caused by poor drainage of your aqueous humor through your trabecular meshwork. To remedy this problem, we may recommend selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), a technique in which we improve the drainage using laser technology.
These laser treatments are minimally invasive and extremely effective in creating a better flow of fluids through your trabecular meshwork.
If your glaucoma is advanced and doesn’t respond well to medication or laser treatments, we may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure in your eyes. There are two main types of glaucoma surgery, including:
- Trabeculectomy — we create a new filter and exit for fluids
- Drainage devices — we implant tiny tubes that improve drainage
We may also recommend one of several minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries, which are designed to accomplish the same objectives as traditional glaucoma surgery, but using microscopic instruments and incisions.
When it comes to deciding which treatment option is best for your glaucoma, it’s impossible to say here. Rest assured, however, that our ophthalmologists work closely with you to explain each approach in great detail so that you can choose the one that best meets your goals.
If you want to learn more about your treatment options for glaucoma, please contact one of our three locations in Huntingdon Valley, Jenkintown, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to set up a consultation with one of our glaucoma specialists.