Glaucoma Treatment

How is Glaucoma Treated ?


There are generally three ways of treating glaucoma.

I. The primary goal of treatment is to preserve vision. The typical first line of treatment is medicated eye drops which lower the intraocular pressure by helping fluid leave the eye or by reducing the amount of fluid produced in the eye. Some patients may need to take multiple different types of eye drops or even eye drops plus medications in pill form to effectively lower the pressure.
II. Laser treatment is usually the second course of treatment for glaucoma. There are multiple laser that can be used to effectively treat glaucoma.
Argon Laser and Selective Laser are often used by our Ophthalmologists.
Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT)

One type of laser surgery for the treatment of glaucoma is Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT). Small burns are applied to the trabecular meshwork, the area where fluid drains from the eye. These burns stretch open the drainage channels and allow more fluid to escape the eye. By doing so, the pressure is reduced. This type of laser can be helpful as there are infrequent complications and a high success rate.

     Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

This type of laser works by using laser light to stimulate the body’s own healing response to lower your eye pressure. Using a special light wavelength and energy, the laser affects only pigmented cells of the eye. SLT improves the flow of fluid and in turn lowers the eye pressure. The eye can response as soon as one hour after treatment or as much as a few months later. Continued monitoring of the pressures will determine the response to therapy.


III. The final course of treatment of glaucoma is conventional surgery. This is often performed after medicated eye drops and lasers have been deemed uneffective or when the damage is severe. Our glaucoma specialists perform many surgeries using the Ex-PRESS™ Glaucoma Filtration Device. This devise allows us to bypass the trabecular meshwork and redirect the flow of aqueous humor through a small tube or bleb. This in turn reduces the intraocular pressures.

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