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Glaucoma Treatment Options

Our glaucoma specialist will discuss with you your best method of treatment. Keeping to your regimen is crucial in lowering the threat of vision loss. That is why it is important to discuss any side effects of your treatment with your doctor because there are many treatment options that can be used in a combination of ways.

These options include:


Medication comes in the form of either eye drops or pills. They aid in lowering eye pressure in one of two ways—by signaling the ciliary body to slow down the production of aqueous humor or by improving the flow of aqueous humor through the angle and out the trabecular meshwork.

Eye Drops


Eye drops are usually the first method of treatment. They must be taken every day, and more than one medication can be prescribed depending on an individual’s response in eye pressure and on the amount of glaucoma affecting the eyes. Moreover, eye drops may need to be taken several times a day depending on the type of medication it is.

Oral Medications

Oral medications work by reducing the production of aqueous humor. They tend to have more systemic side effects; therefore, their use is limited in glaucoma treatment. These side effects may include reduction of body potassium, numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and legs, fatigue, and nausea. Oral medications are advantageous when treating sudden attacks of extremely high eye pressure, as what happens in acute angle closure glaucoma.



Like the medications just discussed, glaucoma lasers can lower eye pressures by reducing the production of fluid inside the eye or by better facilitating the flow of fluid out of the eye. Lasers are performed most commonly as an addition to medications when eye drops are not enough in lowering eye pressure. Therefore, patients are often instructed to continue their glaucoma medications even after a laser is performed. The procedure is not intended to make your vision better nor does it make your vision worse.


Glaucoma surgery is reserved for cases in which all other treatment options have been exhausted and eye pressures are still not controlled. Generally, glaucoma surgeries involve creating a new drainage channel for the eye by removing a small piece of tissue. This channel redirects the aqueous fluid to a small reservoir that can either be formed from your own conjunctiva or be an actual device that is part of a implantable shunt. Either way, the reservoir is very small and can appear like a blister on your sclera (the white part of your eye). It is usually located underneath your eyelids so that it is not visible to others.

Glaucoma medications, lasers and surgeries do have their own risks and side effects and should always be balanced with the greater risk of losing vision by leaving glaucoma untreated. If you have glaucoma, our specialists make it their priority to preserve your vision and to make sure you are thoroughly informed about your condition.

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