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Glaucoma Treatment: Medication or Surgery

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Various treatment options are available for glaucoma, including medicated eye drops, laser procedures, and traditional surgery. The shared goal of all glaucoma treatments is to lower eye pressure, which protects the optic nerve from damage and prevents vision loss. If our Las Vegas, Nevada, eye doctor diagnoses you with glaucoma, possible treatments include:

Eye drops

Generally, the first choice for treating patients with glaucoma is eye drops. This medication works to decrease eye pressure by helping the eye to drain fluid more efficiently and/or by decreasing the quantity of fluid produced by the eye.

Several types of eye drops for glaucoma are available, classified by their active ingredient. They include beta blockers, prostaglandin analogs, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, alpha agonists, and rho kinase inhibitors. Sometimes, people need to use a combination of more than one type of medication.

Oral medicine

When eye drops can’t lower eye pressure sufficiently, an oral medication may also be prescribed. These drugs are associated with specific side effects, such as an upset stomach, frequent urination, kidney stones, and tingling in the fingers and toes.

Surgery

When medication alone is not enough, surgery may be an excellent alternative. At our Las Vegas, Nevada, eye care center, we provide expert co-management for glaucoma surgery. Our eye doctor will work in collaboration with your eye surgeon to provide comprehensive preoperative and postoperative care.

The risks of surgery include red eyes, eye pain, eye infection, vision loss, inflammation, and intraocular pressure that’s too low or too high. Different types of surgeries can improve fluid drainage within the eye, and our Las Vegas, Nevada, eye doctor will discuss which procedure is best for you.

  • Laser surgery to open clogged ducts in the trabecular meshwork is typically the primary treatment used for open-angle glaucoma. It can delay the need for taking medication, saving the patient from the possible side effects. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) and argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) are the most common laser surgeries for glaucoma.
  • Filtering surgery (trabeculectomy) works by making an opening in the white of the eye.
  • Drainage tubes may be implanted in the eye.
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) has less risks than other types of surgery and requires less immediate postoperative care.
  • Laser peripheral iridotomy can be used to treat acute angle-closure glaucoma, which is a medical emergency. This procedure involves using a laser to make a small opening in the iris for fluid to flow out from.

If you are treated for glaucoma, you will need to visit our eye doctor for regular follow-up eye exams and monitoring to keep watch on your intraocular pressure. If it is elevated, a new treatment plan or a referral to your eye surgeon to assess the need for repeat surgery may be recommended.

At Yesnick Vision Center, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 702-500-0525 or book an appointment online to see one of our Las Vegas eye doctors.

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