If you have glaucoma, then you will likely be asked by your physician to take medications or to administer eye drops to treat the condition initially. This type of non-invasive treatment, as well as suggestions that relate to diet, exercise, and smoking cessation, will be used to reduce the pressure in your eyes. However, your ophthalmologist may suggest the completion of a surgical procedure where a stent is placed in one or both of your eyes. This stent may be used to place medicine directly in the eye that will stop fluids from building up inside of it. The stent also may be utilized to drain or release the accumulated fluid from the eye. Both of these actions will work to reduce pressure. If you are unsure whether or not surgery is the best option for you, then review the following signs that signify that you should start considering it.
You Cannot Stick To A Good Medication Schedule
Glaucoma is a long-term illness that involves damage to the optic nerve over time. This optic nerve is responsible for transmitting signals to the brain that come from the retina. These signals are turned into images as they reach the brain. The optic nerve fibers or tissues are injured when you have glaucoma, because the disease causes pressure to build in the eye. This forces stress against the optic nerve, and blood flow may also be reduced. Large areas of damage across the optic nerve will result in blind spots. These spots cannot be repaired or fixed, and if enough damage occurs, you will no longer be able to see.
To help control eye pressure, you will be asked to place eye drops in the eyes .Generally, the eye drops will decrease eye fluid production or increase fluid drainage. While many eye drops can be taken once a day, others need to be used two or more times a day. It is imperative that you stick to a schedule when using your eye drops and that you allow the fluid to soak around the eye. If you cannot stick to a good medication schedule, or if you feel that eye rubbing or poor technique keep the medication from actually staying in the eye, then you are not treating your condition properly and surgery may be a better choice. This is also true if you find medication side effects, like burning sensations, redness, blocked eye ducts, and itchiness to be extremely bothersome.
You Have Been Diagnosed With Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Most people will have open-angle glaucoma where the pressure within the eye builds up over time. Optic nerve damage then occurs slowly, and a general eye exam will likely show increased eye pressure, which will allow the doctor to treat the glaucoma before blindness is a concern. However, if your ophthalmologist has detected a more rare form of glaucoma called angle-closure or acute glaucoma, then pressure will build up much more quickly within the eye. Usually, open-angle glaucoma will not produce symptoms for several years, but angle-closure glaucoma will. Headaches, pain in the eye, visual disturbances, and reduced visual acuity are all signs of the disease.
Treatment will need to occur much more aggressively if you have an acute form of glaucoma, because optic nerve damage will occur much more quickly. In this case, surgery is the best option. Since this type of glaucoma involves the widening of the iris and the closing off of the spaces in your eye that allow fluid to release, a stent may be placed that specifically allows for drainage to control eye pressure. In some cases, portions of this iris may be cut away too. Thankfully, acute glaucoma treatment with surgery can reduce long term optic nerve damage risks, since pressure is likely to normalize right away after the procedure is completed.
If you have glaucoma, then surgery may be the best choice for treatment. This is especially true if you are unable to stick to a good eye drop regimen or if your eye doctor has diagnosed you with an acute form of glaucoma. If you are concerned about surgery or if you are not sure if you should start thinking about a more aggressive glaucoma treatment, then speak with a professional eye doctor, like those found at http://www.checdocs.org.