A complete understanding of the type of glaucoma is critical to its treatment modality. The doctor reviews the medical history and performs comprehensive evaluations using multiple techniques to confirm the glaucoma condition:
Tonometry: To measure the intraocular pressure
Imaging tests and eye examination dilating the pupil to check the damage if any to the optic nerve
Visual field test: Assessing the areas of possible loss of vision
Pachymetry: Corneal thickness is measured
Gonioscopy: The drainage angle is examined for any anomaly
Glaucoma causes irreversible damage. However, detection in the early stages can help manage the disease well and prevent loss of vision.
Glaucoma treatment primarily aims at lowering intraocular pressure.
Eye drops or oral medication is the common approach depending on the severity of the condition.
The doctor regularly evaluates the eye pressure to decide if laser treatment or surgical intervention will be needed to regulate the intraocular pressure and thus manage glaucoma.
The laser therapy and surgery performed for glaucoma are focused on facilitating the drainage of intraocular fluid and maintaining eye pressure.
Laser trabeculoplasty (truh-BEK-u-low-plas-tee) is considered for open-angle glaucoma. The doctor opens the congested channels of the trabecular meshwork using a laser beam.
The procedure may be performed at the doctor's regular clinic. The procedure takes a few weeks to take effect for the results to show.
It is a surgical protocol called trabeculectomy (truh-bek-u-LEK-tuh-me).
The surgery involves the removal of a part of the trabecular meshwork to make an opening in the sclera (white) of the eye. This facilitates the drainage of fluid managing the intraocular pressure.
The surgeon inserts a small tube to drain the excess fluid responsible for increasing the intraocular pressure.
The tube functions like a shunt or an alternative route to drain the fluid, hence stabilizing the pressure.
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS):
It is a surgical procedure to bring down the intraocular pressure.
The advantage of this technique is that it needs fewer precautions to be taken post-surgery. This is compared to the trabeculectomy, where a foreign drainage apparatus is fixed in the eye.
This procedure is often performed along with cataract surgery. There are numerous MIGS procedures and the doctor generally discusses and identifies the best-suited alternative for the patient.
Post the procedures the doctor will call the patient for regular checkups to ascertain the effectiveness of the procedure, to measure and maintain the intraocular pressure.
Post-surgery, the doctor may manage the pressure with eye drops or medication if required.
However, the doctor may recommend more procedure/s if there is a gradual rise in the intraocular pressure despite the corrective surgery.
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