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Understanding Your Glaucoma Treatment Options

Dripping eye with eyes drops

Glaucoma is one of the top two leading causes of blindness among American adults. This condition causes elevated pressure inside the eye, which damages the optic nerve and affects vision. There are a number of glaucoma treatment options available, including medications and surgical solutions to reduce intraocular pressure.

Eyedrops

One of the first steps your eye care specialist will suggest to treat your glaucoma is the use of medicated eyedrops. Eyedrops often need to be administered daily, sometimes multiple times per day, to manage glaucoma. Glaucoma medications are differentiated by their active ingredient. Beta blockers and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors both reduce the production of fluid in your eye to lower the intraocular pressure and prevent damage to the optic nerve. Alpha agonists, cholinergics, and prostaglandin analogs increase the drainage of fluid out of the eyes to reduce internal pressure. In some cases, these medications can be combined to increase their efficacy and improve your treatment results. Certain brands of glaucoma medications contain multiple active ingredients so you only need to use one product, rather than administering multiple medications throughout the day.

Surgery

If eyedrops are not effective in managing your glaucoma or your condition is very advanced, your eye care specialist may recommend surgery to reduce pressure inside your eyes. Microsurgical techniques can be used to cut a small hole in the white of your eye, which provides additional drainage for the intraocular fluid. Alternatively, laser surgery techniques may be used to treat primary open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma. These techniques use laser light to affect a small number of cells inside the eye at once, restoring the eye’s natural drainage system. Many laser surgery techniques can be safely repeated if they do not produce satisfactory results at first.

Dr. Mark Hornfeld specializes in the management of glaucoma using a variety of treatment methods to find the solution that is best for you. Contact our NYC office today by calling (646) 681-3100 to schedule your eye health evaluation. You can find more information about glaucoma, cataracts, and their treatment on our informative blog.