Glaucoma is an eye condition developed when the fluid pressure of an eye exceeds its normal range. If left untreated, the condition may cause the optic nerves to get damaged, resulting in blurred vision and even blindness in the worst case. Although every individual is at risk for Glaucoma, those over 40 years and who have a family history of this disease are more likely to acquire it. Glaucoma does not exhibit any specific symptoms as it occurs slowly over time and is often diagnosed at routine checkups.
Some of the common signs of Glaucoma are eye redness, blurred vision, headache and vomiting, and bright rings around the lights. The condition is classified into various groups depending upon the severity and symptoms, whereas its treatment is dependent on its type. Medication is always the first line of treatment for patients diagnosed with Glaucoma. These medications comprise eye drops that may help drain out the eye fluids and ease pressure behind the eyes. Below are some types of eye drops that are prescribed to treat Glaucoma, along with their possible side effects:
Beta-blockers: Topical beta-adrenergic antagonists (beta-blockers) are eye drops that effectively relieve the eye of some intraocular pressure (IOP) by decreasing the amount of fluid produced in the eye. Its side effects may include low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, depression, decreased sexual drive, decreased heart rate, fatigue, etc.
Prostaglandin analogs: Prostaglandin analogs are meant to decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) by optimizing the eye's drainage system. The drops fall the IOP by about 25% to 30%, and they take around two weeks to show effect. Its side effects may include a change in eyelid color, blurry vision, itching and burning in the eyes, etc.
Alpha agonists: Alpha agonists decrease the IOP by reducing the amount of aqueous and enhancing the drainage process of the eye fluids. Its side effects may include burning sensation in the eye, headache, sluggishness, fatigue, increased blood pressure, dry mouth, etc.
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors (CAIs): CAIs are used as second-line treatments mostly. They also decrease IOP by reducing the aqueous production. They are available in the market as eye drops and pills. However, its side effects may include burning sensation in the eye, blurry vision, feeling of bitterness in the tongue, etc.
Some more eyedrops that help treat Glaucoma in various ways are Rho-kinase inhibitors and Miotic or cholinergic agents.
If the eye drops alone are not capable of bringing the intraocular pressure down within the normal range, a glaucoma patient may also be prescribed an oral medication along with these eye drops.
Laser treatment makes use of a sharp beam of light to help clear out choked tubes and drainage fluid from the eye. During the surgery, the eye is numbed so the overall procedure is quite painless. There are different types of laser treatment surgical options available for the treatment of Glaucoma; some of them are listed as:
This is for treating Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG). After numbing the eye, the doctor will hold the eyelid open using a holder and start to redirect a high energy laser light through a specific lens into the eye. The laser beam will allow fluid channels inside the eye to open which will help fluids to easily drain out. Usually, the doctor carries this treatment out in 2 sessions at different intervals. Some medication may still be needed after the treatment.
This is also for treating Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and is usually prescribed to patients to reduce the medication burden. In this laser treatment, low-energy laser light is redirected inside the eye. Unlike ALT, this laser treatment is much less inflammatory targetting the drainage system. This laser treatment causes the intraocular pressure to diminish which helps the fluid to drain out easily.
This is for treating the Narrow-Angle Glaucoma which occurs when the space between the iris and the cornea is narrow. A laser device is used to create a hole in the iris thereby resulting in the intraocular pressure being relieved and the fluids draining out easily.
This is for treating open-angle glaucoma or angle-closure glaucoma. In this treatment, laser technology is used on the fluid-producing cells that exist behind the iris. The cells are modified to produce less fluid and this, overall, causes the intraocular pressure to be reduced. This treatment is needed to be repeated every once in a while since the regeneration of new fluid-producing cells is possible over time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Glaucoma and search for an effective Glaucoma treatment or you would like to get your eyes checked by an experienced Ophthalmologist, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our eye care specialist at American Hospital Dubai. Our Ophthalmologists have a wealth of experience and expertise in diagnosing and treating all kinds of optical issues including Glaucoma through a comprehensive Glaucoma Screening Investigation and Glaucoma Adult Treatment program. Book your appointment with an eye care specialist by using our online form today!