Glaucoma is a common eye condition that more than 3 million Americans suffer from. Everyone is at risk for getting glaucoma, there is no cure, and it is the leading cause of blindness. It's all incredibly scary, but there are things people can do to relieve symptoms and slow the progression. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, here are some of the best glaucoma treatments that you should try.
Prescription eye drops are often used by glaucoma patients to relieve pressure in the eye. The pressure that builds up causes damage to the optic nerve, which is the nerve that sends visual information to the brain. The damaged optic nerve is what causes vision loss, and once you lose vision due to glaucoma, it can't be restored. The eye drops are much different than the ones you can buy over the counter. The medication in the drops is absorbed through the blood vessels in the eye and goes into your blood stream. Some people experience breathing problems and increased heart rate. Your doctor will decide if you are in good enough health to try the eye drops. You need to call your doctor immediately if you experience any adverse effects.
If the eye drops aren't properly controlling your symptoms, your doctor might prescribe you pills to take orally to control your glaucoma symptoms. The pills are usually tried after the drops, because they often come with a greater chance of systematic side effects. Therefore, if you had adverse reactions to the eye drops, you probably aren't a candidate for the pills. The pills will lessen the production of fluid in your eye, which in turn, reduces the pressure.
If you are having a systematic reaction to the drops or pills, or they just aren't working for you, laser surgery might be what you need. The laser surgery is painless and generally performed as an outpatient procedure. Some doctors have the equipment right in the office while others will send you to an outpatient eye surgery center. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes and changes the way fluid drains from your eye. There are many different types of laser surgeries. The type you receive will depend on the type of glaucoma that you have. For example, primary open-angle glaucoma is treated with micropulse laser trabeculoplasty. It lowers the pressure in the eye through short microbursts. Other types of laser surgeries for POAG include selective laser trabeculoplasty and argon laser trabeculoplasty.
In 2012, the FDA approved a stent device that lowers pressure in the eye for glaucoma patients. It works the same way as putting tubes in people's ears when they have chronic ear infections. The stent requires a minimally invasive surgery, done by making a microscopic incision in the eye. A small, titanium tube is placed into the incision that drains the fluid from the eye and keeps it from building pressure. The stent can allow you to have no excess pressure in your eyes and live a completely normal life without any vision loss. While the stent won't allow any vision to return that was previously lost due to glaucoma, it will keep the vision loss from progressing.
If you live in a state where Marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use, it's a great way to treat glaucoma. Not only will it help the pain from glaucoma, but it will relieve the pressure in your eyes as well. Smoking or eating edible marijuana can lower the pressure in your eyes in as little as three to four hours.
Being diagnosed with glaucoma does not automatically mean that you will go blind anymore. There are many amazing treatments that can lower the pressure in your eyes and keep the optic nerve from becoming damaged. Talk to your doctor or eye clinic, such as Country Hills Eye Center, about all of these treatments so you can find one that is right for you.