Through various methods, including glaucoma surgery and non-surgical glaucoma treatment, we can halt or delay the onset of glaucoma and prevent the occurrence of associated symptoms. This disease can severely impair vision if left untreated; during early onset, there may be no symptoms, but eventually, glaucoma can cause a loss of peripheral vision that can develop into severe tunnel vision. Though glaucoma isn’t curable, it can be treated, and glaucoma treatment results tend to be positive. We can diagnose glaucoma, determine the most effective course of treatment, advise you on cost and financing, and take action. If you suffer impaired vision or are at risk for glaucoma, please seek professional care today.
Glaucoma Treatment Results
There are two primary factors to consider when discussing glaucoma treatment results: vision preservation and the aftercare and recovery period. These factors will have a direct impact on your quality of life post-treatment, and they must be weighed along with the risks before any decision on treatment is made.
Regardless of which treatment method is employed – medication, prescription eye drops, laser therapy, or surgery – the goal is the same: to alleviate pressure on the optic nerve and prevent further vision loss. Depending on how early treatment is administered, there may be no symptoms of any kind, and vision may be left intact. If you have suffered some marginal degree of vision loss or impairment, treatment should prevent further degradation of your vision. It is important to note, however, that glaucoma is not a curable disease; rather, it can often be delayed or halted through treatment. If treatment is interrupted, the condition can get worse. We realize the impact glaucoma treatment can have on our patients’ lives, and we take every measure to provide effective care. Our goal is the preservation and protection of your sight.
Aftercare and Recovery
The type of treatment that is chosen will be based on the extent of your vision degradation. We always recommend the least invasive method that will still be effective at meeting your needs, as recovery is much quicker and there are fewer risks. Recovery will differ from patient to patient, but typically, individuals can expect the following:
- Eye Drops – Risks associated with eye drops are minimal. In some cases, eye drops may interfere with other medications and conditions. If the usage of eye drops is discontinued, pressure may build up in the eye and cause vision loss and damage to the optic nerve. Eye drops may also cause stinging, burning, or redness. That being said, most people experience no side effects from eye drops, and they are tremendously beneficial.
Both eye drops and pills can be prescribed to reduce pressure on the optic nerve and alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma. These medications can reduce the amount of fluid produced and/or promote fluid evacuation. If you have early onset glaucoma, medications or eye drops can temporarily halt or severely delay its development. However, medication must be taken continuously in order to act upon the underlying causes of the disease, thus cost can add up quickly.
Multiple medications can be utilized, and if you respond poorly to one, a different dosage or different medication altogether may be prescribed. Once an effective medication has been determined, it’s important that you follow dosage guidelines, as prescribed by your doctor. Early onset glaucoma often has little to no symptoms, and so it may be tempting to stop taking glaucoma medicine. It’s important to remember however that the medicine is preventive in nature; vision that has already been lost due to glaucoma cannot be improved through medication.
- Laser Therapy – If medication is unable to adequately treat the glaucoma, then laser treatment may be utilized. This technique can help promote drainage of fluid, thus reducing pressure on the optic nerve. Laser trabeculoplasty is a common glaucoma treatment, and we employ it at our practice locations. The procedure involves the application of laser energy onto the drainage tissue, a spongy meshwork, to increase drainage capacity. As with other laser eye surgeries, this technique is quick and effective, with marginal downtime.
The benefits of laser therapy over conventional surgery are that it’s minimally invasive and can be completed quickly. However, follow-up treatment may be necessary if the effects of the treatment wear off.
If you undergo laser trabeculoplasty, the eye will likely be red and irritated following treatment, and may water. These symptoms are temporary, however. Other risks include an increase or sudden decrease in intraocular pressure, though such abnormalities can usually be controlled with medication. Not all patients are good candidates for laser treatment. It may take several weeks to determine the full effect of the laser treatment on the eye pressure.
- Glaucoma Surgery – The use of non-surgical glaucoma treatment is typically reserved for early onset disease. If we diagnose your glaucoma early, we can provide care to prevent it from degrading your vision. If medication alone is unable to properly treat the causes of the disease, surgical glaucoma treatment can then be explored. Only severe cases of glaucoma require surgical intervention.
Though success rates for glaucoma surgery are as high as 90 percent, recovery typically takes at least a month (and sometimes two), during which vision may be blurred. Patients are advised to abstain from physical exertion, such as heavy lifting or bending, during recovery to promote healing of the eyes. Risks include bleeding, infection, and pain.
During your initial consultation, we can discuss aftercare and recovery with you in detail so that you can make an informed decision, in conjunction with your eye doctor, on treatment.
If you have questions regarding glaucoma treatment results, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team of experts today. Our offices are conveniently located, and we can help preserve your vision and ensure that you enjoy a high standard of living for years to come.