Glaucoma is a chronic and progressive deterioration of the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers in the back of the eye that carry visual information from the retina to the brain. Glaucoma is generally caused or aggravated by pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) which is too high to maintain the health of the optic nerve.
Managing eye pressure
Glaucoma treatment is primarily aimed at lowering intraocular pressure to a safe level that prevents or at least slows nerve damage. Eye pressure is the main risk factor for developing optic nerve damage from glaucoma and is the only factor that doctors can treat today. In most cases, as per kraffeye.com experts, treatment consists of eye drops or laser surgery that improve fluid drainage or reduce fluid formation or accumulation within the eye. Either drugs or laser surgery can be used as a “first line” treatment.
Two forms of surgery
Surgical techniques can include delicate laser or microscopic incision methods. In general, laser methods are tried before incision surgery, although sometimes laser surgery is not appropriate for the condition or is not likely to reduce eye pressure to a low enough level. It is also important to understand that there are many different types of lasers used in ophthalmology that vary in their purpose and procedure.
Microscopic incision methods are there. There are minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries newer ones also which are performed in combination with cataract surgery. These procedures appear to be much safer than traditional surgeries, but they often do not lower eye pressure enough in moderate to advanced glaucoma.
Laser surgery is often used in open-angle glaucoma (the most common form of this eye disease) when medications do not work, partially work, or have intolerable side effects. In some patients, laser surgery may be the first option for therapy if the eye drops are impractical or if there is difficulty in using them correctly.
Laser surgery to lower eye pressure can be very effective and safe, and it undoubtedly has a place in the ophthalmologist’s toolbox. In deciding whether laser glaucoma surgery is the right treatment for you, a detailed discussion with your ophthalmologist will help you make that decision.