Glaucoma Treatment Options

Several glaucoma treatment options exist and the choice of which treatment strategy to pursue can depend on which type of glaucoma exists.  At the root of most glaucoma treatments is the goal of lowering eye pressure or treating the eye to prevent possible eye pressure increase.

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Glaucoma Medications

A number of effective medications exist to treat glaucoma.  Most commonly topical eye medications (“eye drops”) are prescribed on a daily schedule to be used 1-2 times per day depending on the medicine.  Oral medication to lower eye pressure can be prescribed although these options are usually used as second line agents or in short term emergency situations.  Your doctor will set a “target eye pressure” prior to treatment and will usually begin a single glaucoma medication. After using the medication for 3-6 weeks, your doctor will recheck your eye pressure to see if the target eye pressure has been reached.  

Glaucoma Laser Surgery

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is a laser treatment applied to the iris of the eye for patients who have narrow drainage angles and are at risk of having an angle closure attack.  Again, this laser treatment is for the treatment of Narrow Angle Glaucoma or used emergently for patients having a Narrow Angle Glaucoma Attack.

To learn more about LPI, click here.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser treatment applied to the drainage angle of the eye.  Topical numbing drops are used to anesthetize the eye and the treatment takes just a few minutes to complete.  The laser treatment is effective in reducing the pressure in the eye in 80-90% of patients.  The effect can wear off with time and your doctor may recommend a repeat treatment.

To learn more about SLT, click here.

Glaucoma Surgery

There are several surgical procedures used to reduce pressure in the treatment of glaucoma.  Historically surgical options for glaucoma have been the third line of treatment after topical medicines or laser surgical procedures, but newer surgical options termed Micro Invasive Glaucoma Surgery or Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) are being considered first line options for some patients.  

MIGS

**not currently FDA approved

Glaucoma drainage devices

Glaucoma filter surgery

Laser