Saturday, January 28, 2012

Glaucoma Treatment – Best Performed As Soon As Symptoms Develop by Kathryn Dawson

Glaucoma is a condition which has a number of causes but is mainly due to high pressure within the eye and/or damage to the optic nerve. In most cases this is a slowly developing condition, but the earlier your diagnosis the more effective the glaucoma treatment.

The optic nerve is the part of the eye that allows the brain to interpret the images that are seen. Some people may already have a weakness on the optic nerve and if you suffer from short sightedness or a member of your family has already been diagnosed with glaucoma then you may find that you are in a higher risk category. Symptoms included blurred vision and if left untreated, the condition can cause you to lose your sight.

In some cases, your eye specialist may recommend laser eye surgery although eye drops are usually the first type of glaucoma treatment that is tried. The eye drops are designed to open up any blocked drainage channels to allow the fluid to flow, or reduce the amount of fluid that the eye produces. Surgery is the next step if the eye drops have not helped.

Most treatments can be carried out under a local anaesthetic with a minimum of discomfort and disruption and you will find that it is possible to go home the same day, with just a few hours rest following the surgery.

If you have an attack of acute glaucoma, then you will find that hospitalisation may be necessary. This is a painful form of the condition and drugs will need to be administered and your condition monitored. The drugs given are designed to reduce the fluid production and allow it to drain more effectively. A surgical procedure can also be performed which helps to relieve the obstructions in the eye and this will be carried out by laser eye surgery. Do not be surprised if your eye specialist recommends having this procedure performed on both eyes, even if only one is affected. With one affected the other is at risk and this can help to prevent you from suffering another attack. A hospital stay will be short if you respond well to treatment.

Your eye specialist will ask you to return for a check-up within a few days of the surgery. This is to ensure that you are making the correct amount of progress and to give you the chance to ask any further questions that you may have. If you undergo surgery as part of your glaucoma treatment then you may find that you still have blurred vision for several weeks afterwards; while your eyes are still healing.

While laser eye surgery may be beneficial if you are suffering from glaucoma, refractive surgery will depend greatly on the type and stage of glaucoma that you are at. It is more commonly used to reduce dependency upon reading glasses, so if your eyes are in the advanced stages of glaucoma, this type of surgery will not be beneficial as during the surgery the pressure in the eye increases and you may already have high pressure levels. Each case must be taken on its merits; if your eye specialist feels that you would still benefit from this then it may be suggested.

If you catch the condition early and respond well to the glaucoma treatment then you should be able to carry out everyday tasks with little or no side effects. You may, however, require some vision aids. Your optician and/or eye specialist will be able to tell you more about the long term effects on your vision and give you some idea of what extra assistance, if any, that you will need.