Eye drops to manage glaucoma
The management of glaucoma mainly is through eye drops–thanks to the advanced pharmaceutical advances, where we can just put a couple of eye drops, and this helps keep the eye pressure under control. These eye drops have to be put in the eyes for life because the pressure is only better when you put the drops in, but if you do not continue to use your eye drops, then the pressure will continue to go up again, and that can cause fatal damage to the back of the eye.
If drops alone are not enough, then surgical intervention might be required. There are various ways to do the surgery. Some are very advanced, called minimally invasive tubes. Minimally invasive tubes are tiny stents put inside the eye to allow or to enhance the drainage of the fluids from the eye. More invasive surgery is called tubes or valves, which are artificial devices inserted in the eye to drain the fluids. Sometimes we do what we call trabeculectomy, which is a way to create a natural valve in the eye to drain the fluids when the pressures start to creep up.
The management of glaucoma has improved a lot in the last few years. We have better modalities in addressing the raised pressure in the eye, and it’s very rare now for patients to go blind from glaucoma.
Glaucoma treatment can be combined with cataract surgery
One example of managing glaucoma is patients coming for cataract surgery and glaucoma at the same time. So one of the nice and advanced ways to control the eye pressure is to do the cataract operation first. At the end of the procedure, we insert a small stent inside the eye, which allows the fluids to drain nicely and help to control the eye pressure after surgery. In those cases, this is glaucoma that is not really advanced. It is controlled with a topical medication, and then MIGS or minimally invasive devices like stents help very well to keep the eye pressure under control.