Your physician will help you determine the best treatment option for based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history.
  • Extent of the disease.
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies.
  • How the disease might progress.

Treatment Options

While glaucoma cannot be cured, early treatment can often control it. Treatment may include:

  • Medications - Some medications cause the eye to produce less fluid while others lower pressure by helping fluid drain from the eye.
  • Conventional surgery - The purpose of conventional surgery is to create a new opening for fluid to leave the eye.
  • Laser surgery (also called laser trabeculoplasty) - Several types of surgical procedures can be performed with a laser that are used to treat glaucoma, including:
    • Trabeculoplasty. In this (most common) type of laser surgery to treat open-angle glaucoma, a laser is used to place "spot welds" in the drainage area of the eye (known as the trabecular meshwork), which allows fluid to drain more freely.
    • Iridotomy. In this procedure, the surgeon uses the laser to make a small hole in the iris—the colored part of the eye—to allow fluid to flow more freely in the eye.
    • Cyclophotocoagulation. This procedure uses a laser beam to freeze selected areas of the ciliary body—the part of the eye that produces aqueous humor—to reduce the production of fluid.
  • Tube shunt - This implantable drainage device creates an artificial pathway in the eye. It is made from a miniature, stainless steel tube and can be implanted in less than five minutes. A tube shunt is usually selected after considering conventional surgical treatments.

In some cases, a single surgical procedure is not effective in halting the progress the glaucoma, and repeat surgery and/or continued treatment with medications may be necessary.