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Understanding Your Glaucoma Treatment Options

Understanding Your Glaucoma Treatment Options

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important that you get your intraocular pressure under control. The choice of how to do this is up to you and your doctor, based on the type of glaucoma you have and its severity. Medications, laser treatments and conventional surgical procedures are all used to manage intraocular pressure and prevent losing vision permanently as a result of glaucoma.

This post should familiarize you with three treatments available at Laser Eye Center of Miami and answer some of your questions about each option.

Medicated Eyedrops

Most people with glaucoma use at least one type of medicated eyedrop. Some glaucoma eyedrops minimize the amount of fluid in the eye, and others improve fluid output from the eye through its established drainage pathways. When used correctly, eyedrops are a safe and effective way to manage intraocular pressure.

With eyedrops, compliance is key. Taking the drops consistently and routinely is critical to preserving vision and staving off damage to the optic nerve. Some patients have a difficult time remembering to use the drops every day. Others develop irritation or side effects in response to the drops.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

Lasers are commonly used in the treatment of glaucoma because laser energy penetrates the eye’s tissues precisely and quickly. Laser therapy is generally associated with less pain, swelling and scarring than traditional surgery. However, to some patients the idea of laser treatment is more daunting than the daily use of eyedrops. And research has shown that the effects of laser treatment are not long lasting. Patients may require repeat or additional intervention as the effects wear off over time.

The most common laser procedure for open-angle glaucoma is selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). In this procedure, a low-level laser widens the channels in the eye’s established drainage pathways to improve the outflow of fluid and lower intraocular pressure. For many patients, this minimizes the need to use conventional glaucoma eyedrops.

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy

Some glaucoma cases occur when the iris blocks the outflow of fluid from the eye. As a result, fluid builds up quickly and intraocular pressure spikes. Laser peripheral iridotomy involves creating a small opening in the periphery of the iris to relieve the buildup of fluid.

Treatment Individualized To You

When selecting the most appropriate course of action for your case, our doctors will consider your type of glaucoma, intraocular pressure and personal preferences. We want you to feel comfortable with the proposed treatment plan, and we will answer all of your questions thoroughly.

For more information about glaucoma treatment, please call or email Laser Eye Center of Miami today.