New Advances in Glaucoma Surgery: How Eye Surgery is Evolving for the Better
Glaucoma refers to a common, and often difficult to detect, type of conditions that result in increased pressure inside the eye. The pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve that is responsible for sending signals to the brain. If this condition is left uncontrolled, this can lead to increasing vision loss, and eventually blindness.
In the past, individuals with glaucoma had very limited options when it came to treating their condition and reducing intraocular pressure. Not only was glaucoma harder to identify in the past, but also for many years, the only glaucoma surgeries available were quite invasive and involved the use of large drainage devices.
Laser Eye Surgeries to Treat Glaucoma
One of the ways that eye surgeons will treat individuals with severe cases of glaucoma is by using laser eye surgeries. During this procedure, the surgeon will utilize a laser in order to create new avenues for the eye to safely release the built up pressure. Depending upon the type and severity of the glaucoma, these procedures might include removing part of the damaged drainage system in the eye, or creating incisions that will allow for new drainage areas. These surgeries cause minimal damage to the tissue of the eye, heal fairly quickly, and can be repeated safely when necessary.
Shunts Used to Release Pressure Within the Eye
In some cases, eye surgeons will recommend the implantation of a shunt when treating glaucoma, but these shunts are much different than those that were used in the past. The most advanced shunts used in glaucoma surgery today are hardly larger than a grain of rice, and are surgically implanted during a fairly non-invasive procedure, allowing fluids in the eye to easily bypass the damage drainage systems.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Glaucoma
Just as glaucoma surgeries have improved, as have non-surgical glaucoma treatments. During the early stages of the condition, many patients have been able to control the progression of the disease by taking medications or utilizing special eye drops that help to relieve the pressure in the eye. As the condition worsens, it may be necessary to use these treatments in conjunction with the glaucoma surgeries.
The best way to reduce the risk of vision loss due to glaucoma is still prevention. Glaucoma can be difficult to detect before it has begun to damage vision, but patients can catch the condition in its earliest stages by undergoing regular checkups with their eye doctor.