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Glaucoma Treatment Options

GlaucomaTreatment for glaucoma focuses on preserving eyesight by slowing the damage to the optic nerve. Most treatment aims to prevent further damage to the optic nerve by lowering the pressure in the eyes. As a rule, damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. Eye drops, pills, laser and surgical operations are used to prevent or retard further damage from occurring. At Regional Eye Associates we take pride in offering a variety of treatment options dependant on your needs.

Narrow-angle glaucoma can be treated with a laser iridotomy. By using a laser, a small hole is made in the iris to create a new pathway for the aqueous fluid to drain from the eye. The new drainage hole allows the iris to fall back to its normal position, restoring the balance between fluid entering and leaving the eye and lowering eye pressure.

Open-angle glaucoma can be treated with laser trabeculoplasty. This procedure works by using laser light to stimulate the body's own healing response to lower your eye pressure. Laser trabeculoplasty improves the flow of fluid in the eye, which in turns lowers your eye pressure.

Ex-PRESS Mini Shunt - A recent surgical advancement in the treatment of glaucoma is the Ex-PRESS Mini Shunt Glaucoma Filtration Device. It is a small stainless steel unit - similar in size to a grain of rice - and is typically used after medical and other surgical treatments have failed. The Ex-Press is implanted between the inner region and the outer region of the eye and allows for a more controlled and consistent drainage of the aqueous humor, or fluid inside the eye, thus lowering the intraocular pressure of the eye to a healthy level. Often glaucoma medication is not needed following recovery from the procedure.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser that treats the drain directly to help increase the outflow of fluid. It treats specific cells "selectively,” leaving the trabecular meshwork intact. For this reason, SLT may be safely repeated. It is not painful, and often can be an alternative to eye drops in early open angle glaucoma.

The Trabectome, an FDA-cleared device for minimally invasive surgical treatment of open-angle glaucoma, is designed to improve fluid drainage from the eye and balance intraocular pressure (IOP).Trabectome can help to stabilize optic nerve health and minimize further visual field damage by gently unblocking pressure with a three-step process that takes approximately 30 minutes.

Glaucoma treatments and surgeries will help improve the patient's vision. The purpose of these lasers is to help lower the eye pressure and prevent vision loss.

If glaucoma progresses despite medications or laser therapy, other more involved surgery procedures such as a trabeculectomy or tube shunt placement may be necessary to control or lower the pressure and prevent vision loss.

For more information, please contact our surgical coordinator at 304-598-3301.

*As with any surgical procedure there are risks along with benefits. It is important to discuss your surgical procedure with your surgeon to fully understand the risks and benefits.