The first step in glaucoma treatment is a screening test and examination of your medical history. Be sure to let your doctor know about any medications you are taking (particularly those related to elevating or lowering blood pressure), family history of eye problems, and any health conditions you may have. The doctors at Silverstein Eye Centers will examine your optic nerves for possible damage, take eye pressure readings, and measure your corneal thickness. Each of these aspects of your eye examination will provide your doctor with vital information in determining your risk for glaucoma, or if you already have glaucoma, will help determine how far it has progressed. If any of these measurements is abnormal, you may be given a more detailed glaucoma screening, including visual field testing and a computerized nerve scan.
Once your risk for glaucoma or level of progression has been determined, your doctor will create a treatment plan for you.
LOWERING EYE PRESSURE
Reducing pressure within the eye is a proven method to slow or even stop the progression of glaucoma. The first-line method for lowering pressure is with special eye drops. It may require several drops to reach the target eye pressure levels. Eye drops may carry side effects such as mild burning or stinging, possible changes in skin or eye appearance, allergic reaction, or possible systemic side effects.
LASER TRABECULOPLASTY AND LASER IRIDOTOMY
If eye drops fail to slow or halt your glaucoma, laser trabeculoplasty and laser iridotomy may be next. Laser trabeculoplasty is a procedure to remodel the drainage within the eye, which aids in lower eye pressure. Laser iridotomy is used specifically to treat narrow angle glaucoma (also called angle closure glaucoma).
Should eye drops and laser treatment prove to be ineffective, or if the glaucoma is too far advanced, your doctor at Silverstein Eye Centers may recommend glaucoma surgery. Your surgeon will make microincisions through which a stent will be placed in the eye’s drainage canal. Silverstein Eye Centers is at the forefront of new surgical techniques being developed to treat glaucoma, often resulting in faster healing and fewer complications.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS AND RISKS
It is important to note that not all patients will be ideal candidates for some treatments. Your doctor will discuss the pros and cons of each option, as well as the risks and possible outcomes, with you. It is important to remember that glaucoma can’t be cured. The progression can be slowed or halted, but even if it is halted, it may begin to progress again at a later time. Also, each intervention has its own risks to consider, including damage to the eyes or infection. If you have any concerns before or after treatment, be sure to notify your doctor right away.
If you or someone you know has glaucoma, contact Silverstein Eye Centers at 816-358-3600 today to schedule an eye exam, glaucoma screening, and consultation today.