Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it often can be controlled with proper treatment. The most common treatments include:
SLT Therapy/Laser Surgery
During laser surgery, a beam of light is focused on the part of the eye where the fluid drains, resulting in small changes that make it easier for fluid to exit the internal drain of the eye. Over time the effect of laser surgery may wear off (typically in 1-5 years). Patients may elect to have the laser repeated or to keep taking medications. Some patients need both eye drops and laser to control their glaucoma.
SLT, or ‘Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty’, is the use of a laser to treat glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye.
A large percentage of glaucoma patients are successfully treated with the use of medicated eye drops to manage the pressures in the eye. Successful management of eye pressure can greatly reduce the risk factors for glaucoma related blindness in patients.
These may be in the form of eye drops or pills. Some medications will help reduce pressure by slowing the formation of fluid inside the eye. Others help to improve how the fluid drains internally within the eye. For most people, regular use of eye drops or pills will control the pressure inside the eye. But they may stop working over time, or they may cause side effects. If a problem occurs, your doctor may select other medications, change the dose, or suggest other ways to deal with the problem.
Surgery can also help fluid drain from the eye and reduce the pressure. However, surgery is usually only used for patients whose pressure cannot be controlled with eye drops or laser surgery.
How is glaucoma monitored/followed up?
Glaucoma is monitored with tests that check the optic nerve anatomy and function. You should see your doctor as scheduled. The frequency of visits depends on your stage of glaucoma and your response to treatment. The more advanced glaucoma that you have, the more often you should be followed, and the more aggressive your treatment will be. Early detection and treatment are the best ways to control glaucoma to help prevent vision loss. If you are in one of the groups at higher risk for glaucoma be sure to have a dilated eye exam every year by an eye care professional.
It is critical that Glaucoma patients receive ongoing treatment to prevent vision loss. Millin C. Budev, MD offers both medical and surgical treatment options for Glaucoma patients including SLT, medication management, and the iStent implantation. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Glaucoma, preventative maintenance is critical to preserving vision. See your regular eye doctor for an annual eye exam or call to schedule an appointment with Millin C. Budev, MD today at (843) 797-3676.