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During the glaucoma exam, we will evaluate your visual acuity and check your internal eye pressure. If your doctor suspects that you may have glaucoma, a Visual Field Test may be performed. This test is used to determine if there is any optic nerve damage. Your doctor may also want to check your eye pressure at a different time of day to establish a pattern. These tests help determine if medical treatment is necessary. In some cases, the patient may be referred to a glaucoma specialist for further evaluation. If you require medicine for any eye disease, you will be given a prescription.
Glaucoma treatment involves getting the intraocular pressure back under control, sparing the optic nerve from additional destruction. The two basic strategies for doing this involve (1) reducing the amount of fluid the eye produces and (2) re-establishing efficient drainage. Your ophthalmologist may pursue both of these strategies at the same time for maximum results, using treatment methods such as:
Eye drops: Several types of medicated eye drops can either reduce intraocular fluid production or help the drainage ducts relax/dilate for better performance. Some eye drop products only require one dosage per day, while others require more frequent application.
Oral drugs: Oral drugs are the next line of defense if eye drops alone aren’t effective enough to curb your glaucoma.
Laser peripheral iridectomy: Sometimes surgery is required. Laser peripheral iridotomy is one such procedure that uses a laser beam to make a tiny opening in the periphery of the iris for immediate improvement of eye drainage. This technique is especially useful for treating patients with acute glaucoma issues.
Surgical trabeculectomy: Trabeculotomy is a non-laser surgical procedure to alter the eye’s existing drainage mechanisms. We remove a small portion of your own eye tissue to create a shunt that permits continuous drainage at the point where the cornea meets the sclera (the white of the eye).