How to Properly Manage Glaucoma

How to Properly Manage Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the optic nerve. It worsens with time, typically figuring in the buildup of pressure in the eye. It often runs in families, progressing with age. 


The increased intraocular or eye pressure can damage the optic nerve. This nerve sends images to the brain. Worsening glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss or complete blindness within a couple of years. 


Causes of Glaucoma


The aqueous humor, or eye fluid, normally flows out of the eye through a channel that looks like a mesh. If the channel is blocked, or if too much fluid is produced by the eye, it leads to liquid buildup. Experts are not always sure about what causes the blockage. 


It is believed that the eye condition can be inherited. It can also be caused by severe eye infections, inflammatory conditions, eye injury, and blocked blood vessels in the eye. Eye surgery complications can also cause glaucoma. Most people with glaucoma do not experience pain or early symptoms.


Diagnosing Glaucoma


Lowering the eye pressure can protect sight. To diagnose the condition, the doctor will review the patient’s medical history and carry out a comprehensive eye exam. He or she may then perform several tests, including: 


  • Measuring the intraocular pressure (tonometry) 


  • Measuring corneal thickness (pachymetry)


  • Using dilated eye exam and imaging to test for optic nerve damage


  • Checking for vision loss


  • Inspecting the drainage angle


Treatment of Glaucoma


Damage resulting from glaucoma cannot be reversed. Treatment and checkups can prevent vision loss or slow down disease progression. This is especially the case if the disease is detected in the early stages. Treatment of glaucoma involves lowering the eye or intraocular pressure. 


Depending on the patient’s condition, the doctor may prescribe oral medications, eye drops, laser treatment, or surgery. Sometimes, a combination of the treatments may be used. Prescription eye drops are often the first step in treatment. They help reduce eye pressure by improving how fluid drains. 


Laser Therapy and Surgery


If eye drops and other medication fail to bring down eye pressure, the doctor may recommend laser therapy or surgery. The treatments can improve fluid drainage, lowering eye pressure. The procedures include laser trabeculoplasty, filtering surgery, inserting drainage tubes in the eyes, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery or MIGS.


Properly Managing Glaucoma


Proper management of glaucoma can go a long way in controlling high eye pressure and promoting eye health. Taking medications and using eyedrops as prescribed can manage the condition. Some home and lifestyle remedies can also help. 


They include: 


  • Eating a healthy diet


  • Limiting caffeine consumption


  • Regular exercise


  • Sleeping with the head elevated


  • Sipping liquids frequently throughout the day


  • Using herbal remedies


  • Practicing relaxation techniques


Glaucoma often affects both eyes, but the symptoms can be worse in one eye. Visit an eye doctor regularly for a checkup to help with early diagnosis and treatment. Research has shown that medical marijuana can temporarily lower eye pressure in people with glaucoma.


For more information on the proper management of glaucoma, visit Insight Eyecare at our office in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can call (702) 718-7163 today to book an appointment.

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