Part 2 of our interview with Dr. Altig on Glaucoma. Today we will be discussing prevention and treatment.
Is There Prevention for Glaucoma?
You may think, “What can I do to prevent myself from getting glaucoma?”
I am sorry to say, there is no prevention for glaucoma. Regular and thorough comprehensive eye exams are essential in detection of the early stages of glaucoma. Every female over 30 years old should have yearly eye exams, and every male over 40 years old should have yearly eye exams. In every comprehensive eye exam, we do, we check for glaucoma. Vision insurance always covers the screening for glaucoma, but if glaucoma is detected, the treatment will then be covered by medical insurance, not the vision insurance.
What Are My Treatment Options for Glaucoma?
There are several treatments available for glaucoma today. The vast majority of the treatments are eye drops. They will help to decrease the fluid manufactured by the eye, so the pressure in the eye does not rise. Some drops are used to increase the drainage in the eye, if the drainage mechanism of the eye is the cause of the glaucoma. If the drops are not effective, there are also ways of surgically increasing the drainage of the eye.
If the drops done work enough, pills may be given along with the eye drops. They also help to lessen the overproduction of fluid, taken usually two to four times a day. If you are prescribed pills, make sure to inform all of your doctors so if they need to prescribe medications to you, it will not cause any harmful interactions.
Laser surgery is also an option, as an intermediate step, however results from the laser surgery are variable. Your eye doctor will discuss with you to see which treatment options are best for your type of glaucoma.
Make sure to see your eye doctor regularly for your comprehensive eye exams so that if you do have glaucoma, it will be caught at its earliest stages and slow the progress of the disease and largely prevent vision loss as much as possible.