If you’ve recently received a glaucoma diagnosis, you may have some questions about what treatments are available. Read on to learn about glaucoma treatments provided by the eye doctors at Bausch Eye Associates in Allentown, PA.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that occurs when fluid in your eye can’t drain out. This causes pressure to build inside your eye. The pressure can damage your optic nerve and affect your vision.
What Treatments do Eye Doctors Prescribe for Glaucoma?
The primary treatments for glaucoma fall into three categories: observation, eyedrops, and procedures. Eye doctors perform observation while conducting comprehensive eye exams. Your eye doctor will check the pressure of your eye, test for optic nerve damage, and see if you’ve lost any areas of vision.
What Kind of Eye Drops Treat Glaucoma?
Ophthalmologists prescribe eye drops that can decrease the pressure in your eye. Some drops do this by reducing the amount of fluid your eye makes.
Other drops help excess fluid to drain out of your eye. Your eye doctor may prescribe different types of eye drops. Examples include:
- Beta-blockers can reduce the amount of fluid your eye produces.
- Prostaglandins reduce eye pressure by helping the fluid in your eyes flow out.
- Alpha-adrenergic agonists reduce the fluid production and help fluids flow out of your eye.
Why do Eye Doctors Use Surgical Procedures Instead of Eye Drops?
If eye drops aren’t reducing intraocular pressure levels enough, your eye doctor may suggest another treatment. For some patients with higher eye pressure levels, this may be a surgical procedure instead.
What Kinds of Procedures are Used to Treat Glaucoma?
Eye doctors use a variety of procedures to treat glaucoma. These include:
- Trabeculoplasty and iridotomy both use lasers to reduce pressure in your eyes. Trabeculoplasty procedures may use lasers to break up clogs which limit drainage. An iridotomy creates a tiny hole on the edge of the iris to increase drainage.
- MIGS is short for minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. These procedures have fewer complications than older, more invasive, glaucoma surgeries. In a MIGS procedure, the eye doctor uses microscopic-sized equipment to make tiny cuts on the eye.
- One example of a MIGS procedure is the iStent inject. In this procedure, the doctor injects tiny stents into the eye to improve the outflow of fluid. The stents are the smallest medical devices implanted in the human body. This procedure is often used in conjunction with cataract surgery.
- Goniotomy is another MIGS treatment. Doctors use it for the kind of glaucoma that occurs in babies. The surgeon creates a new opening in the tiny drainage canals in the eye to allow fluid to flow out.
What are the Latest Advances in Glaucoma Treatment?
The most recent glaucoma treatment approved by the FDA is Durysta. This is a sustained-release drug delivery device that’s implanted in the front of the eye. Durysta releases a prostaglandin analog (like the drug that’s in some eye drops). The drug increases the outflow of fluid from the eye. Many glaucoma patients can’t administer a drug every day. Durysta solves that problem by automatically releasing the drug. An ophthalmologist can perform the implant in the office. The Durysta implant is biodegradable, so there is no need for the eye doctor to remove it. Bausch Eye Associates will be the first eye care practice with a surgeon to offer Durysta in Allentown for glaucoma patients.
What Glaucoma Treatment is Right for Me?
Consult your eye doctor to determine the best glaucoma treatment. Determining factors include:
- How advanced your glaucoma is.
- Where in the eye the pressure is occurring.
- What kind of glaucoma you have.
Bausch Eye Associates offers a full range of diagnostic tests including Visual Field testing, Optic Nerve Imaging, Optical Coherence Topography tests (OCT), as well as corneal thickness testing and anterior chamber evaluation. We also have the necessary equipment to provide accurate intraocular pressure testing.
Our experienced ophthalmologists in Allentown would be happy to explain the different glaucoma treatments we offer. They will help you determine the best option for your condition.
Contact the skilled eye doctors at Bausch Eye Associates to schedule an appointment in Allentown, PA today!