Understanding glaucoma treatment is critical for many people throughout the world. In today’s medical world, a wide variety of treatments are available, ranging from prescription drugs to intensive eye surgery. Despite these different options, using glaucoma eye drops continues to provide the most effective, immediate, and accessible form of glaucoma treatment.
Learning about glaucoma treatment is important because glaucoma is one of the most common and widespread eye disorders in the world, plaguing individuals regardless of who they are or where they come from. Given the pervasiveness of glaucoma, the search for effective glaucoma treatment is truly a global one.
Before exploring glaucoma treatment, the disorder itself must be better understood. Glaucoma is a family of disorders in which the optic nerve becomes damaged, typically as a result of disruption to the eye’s production and distribution of a substance known as aqueous humour. The eye constantly manufactures this fluid, which is used to regulate intraocular pressure and to carry nutrients throughout the eye. When this process is disrupted, and the fluid’s ability to flow across the eye is either slowed or blocked, pressure builds up in the eyeball. This pressure, in turn, places heavy stress on the optic nerve, which ultimately leads to the decreased vision and blindness so commonly associated with glaucoma. When these symptoms arise, it is time to seek some form of glaucoma treatment.
Selecting the correct type of glaucoma treatment, however, comes with some serious challenges and difficulties. Foremost among these is the fact that the exact causes of glaucoma are still unknown. Similarly, no absolute cure for glaucoma has yet been discovered – glaucoma treatment is, at best, a strategy for coping with, managing and decreasing the symptoms of the disorder.
Whatever glaucoma treatment a person chooses, the overall goal is to limit the disorder’s symptoms and to prevent future vision loss. This is accomplished by reducing the intraocular pressure fundamentally responsible for optic nerve damage by either improving and increasing the outflow of aqueous humour, or by reducing the eye’s production of the fluid. These are the primary objectives of any glaucoma treatment.
Glaucoma treatment has long been a diverse and changing field, and because there is no cure for the ailment, glaucoma treatment has seen many changes, evolutions and advancements. Surgery is a common glaucoma treatment today, but such a procedure is costly, invasive and ultimately provides only temporary relief.
A long-standing and effective form of glaucoma treatment is the use of glaucoma eye drops. While the use of eye drops also does not fully cure the disorder, it is the most accessible, convenient and effective way to manage and treat the negative and harmful symptoms of glaucoma. Because glaucoma treatment eye drops are easy to use, people who suffer from glaucoma can regularly treat themselves without having to undergo surgery or having to use expensive medical equipment.
A glaucoma treatment built around the use of eye drops requires people to use the drops regularly and often. The most common types of glaucoma treatment eye drops are either prostaglandin drops – which work to increase the flow of aqueous humour – or beta blockers, alpha-agonists and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors – all of which decrease the eye’s production of the fluid.
When using glaucoma treatment eye drops, it is important to follow your doctor’s directions. By failing to use the drops enough, or by using them too much, it is possible to actually increase intraocular pressure. When used as directed, however, eye drops are the most effective and accessible form of glaucoma treatment available today.
Author: Peter Aldred