5 Things To Know About Glaucoma Treatments

Nov 15, 2023 | Optometry

Many patients worldwide live with glaucoma, an eye condition often considered the “silent thief of sight.” Ophthalmologists and optometrists must stay up to date on the latest treatment options available for this condition so that they can provide the best care. Here are five things to know about glaucoma treatments so that you can better preserve your patients’ sight.

You Can Treat Glaucoma With Eye Drops

Eye drops are the go-to initial treatment plan for many patients with glaucoma. These medications work by reducing the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye, which is one of the critical factors contributing to glaucoma’s progression.

There are several types of eye drops available, such as prostaglandin analogs, beta-blockers, alpha agonists, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Each drop type works differently, and healthcare professionals may prescribe one or a combination of these drops based on the patient’s specific needs.

You Can Prescribe Patients Oral Medications

In some cases, healthcare professionals may need to prescribe oral medications to control the progression of glaucoma. These medications work with the eye drops to provide better control over the IOP. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors in pill form, such as acetazolamide and methazolamide, can help reduce fluid production in the eye, thus lowering IOP.

Laser Therapy Is a Treatment Option

Another thing to know about glaucoma treatments is that laser therapy is an effective option. If you cannot endure eyedrops, this therapy involves directing a focused beam of light into the eye to open clogged drainage channels and reduce IOP. Two primary types of laser therapy for glaucoma are selective laser trabeculoplasty and laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI).

Surgery Can Be Effective Against Glaucoma

Surgery, including minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS), is another solution for effectively managing glaucoma progression. These surgical interventions improve fluid drainage in the eye and subsequently lower IOP. Make sure you contemplate the side effects and benefits of each surgery before opting for the best course of action for each patient.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma Requires Immediate Treatment

If you have a patient with acute angle-closure glaucoma, they will have a sudden and dramatic rise in IOP, leading to severe pain and substantial vision loss. This requires immediate medical intervention to prevent permanent damage to the optic nerve.

Healthcare professionals may use a combination of medications, such as eye drops, oral medications, and IV acetazolamide, to initially reduce IOP. However, LPI is a definitive treatment strategy in acute angle-closure glaucoma to prevent further episodes.

Now that you know these facts about glaucoma treatment, you can provide better care for your patients. If you seek ophthalmic supply companies that can provide you with tonometer tip covers for diagnosing patients with glaucoma, contact Automated Ophthalmics Inc. We make our powderless products ourselves, so you never have to worry about a back order.