Treating Glaucoma with Medications and Laser
Glaucoma is typically treated with medications, usually eye drops. Newer studies show that early treatment with lasers may be an even better treatment option for some patients. At SightMD, our experienced physicians can discuss treatment options with you that is best suited for you.
The in-office laser may be better suited for patients responding poorly to medication. This laser procedure is quick and powerful and as effective as drops in the ability to control your eye pressure. Over time it can even help you to avoid or limit the need for medications. Early treatment with medications or in-office lasers can slow down the progression of glaucoma and vision loss.
Glaucoma Treatment – Prescription Medicines
Doctors can treat early stage glaucoma with prescription medicines. These medications can include eye drops, pills, and injections. After an examination your doctor will determine the type of medication treatment that is right for you. Below are a few treatment options that we offer at SightMD:
Our doctors prescribe Glaucoma eye drops to lower eye pressure. These are very effective in lowering eye pressure but they can sometimes cause side effects such as:
- Foreign Body Sensation
Additionally it is important to keep in mind that these are considered chronic medications. You will likely have to be on for a long time once your doctor determines your treatment plan. Cost and compliance with the treatment can sometimes be difficult for patients. It is also important for you to tell us all medications or supplements that you may be taking. Those medications each can have a negative interaction while taken with your glaucoma medication. If prescribed eye drops at the time of your visit, your doctor will give instructions both verbally and written. Together you will go over how often and when to take your eye drops as well as the way in which to drop the eye drop in your eye. We always recommend you bring your eye drops into every visit. This will allow the doctor to confirm you are on the correct treatment plan.
Sometimes doctors prescribe oral medication pills. These are best prescribed in the following instances:
- You cannot tolerate the eye drops
- Eye drops aren’t effective enough
- A bridge to surgical treatment for glaucoma.
These medications work by lowering eye fluid production. Because of the frequent side effects, oral glaucoma medication is only used as a temporary treatment for pressure control. Side effects are common and include:
- Loss Of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Skin Rashes
- Kidney Stones
- Mouth Ulcers
- And Several Other Serious Side Effects.
It is important to keep in mind that your vision has already suffered from glaucoma. It cannot improve through medication.
This is a newer treatment method that is being prescribed in our offices. It is available for those patients who do not do well with daily eyedrop therapy or need the injection in combination with a glaucoma eye drop treatment. This treatment called Durysta is the first FDA approved injectable medication. Doctors will inject the medication into the front of the eye, through the cornea. This procedure is simple and often done in the office. This injection over time releases the medication every day instead of you having to put an eye drop in. The effects of Durysta last for 6 months, but in some patients have lasted over a year. The major downside is that it is FDA approved for single use in each eye. Meaning that once the effects wear off, doctors cannot inject it again. Other medications like this called sustained release devices for glaucoma medications are being developed. This may be an option for you if you’re looking for a treatment that doesn’t need daily eye drop administration.