A Guide To Your Non-Surgical Options For Treatment Of Your Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma

If you have recently been diagnosed with chronic open-angle glaucoma, it is important to be aware of what your options for treating it are. Unfortunately, it is all too common to hear the diagnosis of any form of glaucoma and assume that you will soon be going under the knife or laser. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options that should be explored prior to surgery that can help to preserve your vision and therefore, it is a good idea to have a clear understanding of the facts shared below.   

Understanding Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma

Because chronic open-angle glaucoma is a slow disease that you may have had for years with few or minor symptoms, its diagnosis is often shocking. Characterized by an overly large angle between the iris and the cornea, it is the most common type of glaucoma. It occurs when the eye's drainage canal becomes clogged, which raises the eye pressure to an unsafe level, resulting in slow vision loss over a long period of time. Because it tends to be asymptomatic for so long, its diagnosis frequently happens as the result of an annual eye exam.      

Treating This Form Of Glaucoma Without Surgery

Chronic open-angle glaucoma has numerous treatment options and it is often possible to treat it with the same medications that can be used to treat other forms of this disease. For instance, the first line of attack is often prescription eye drops. One option is Prostaglandins, which work by increasing the level of outflow in the affected eye and lowering the pressure.

Alternatively, your doctor may recommend the use of beta blockers, which have a similar impact. However, its benefits occur as the result of reduced fluid levels in the eye. Other eye drops exist as well, but if adequate improvement is not seen, your doctor may suggest a medication that you can take by mouth. Known as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, it usually is taken at least twice a day and has the same goals as the eye drops.   

Even though it is frequently possible to treat this form of glaucoma without surgery, ignoring its existence or not treating it in a timely manner can lead to blindness in the affected eye. Unfortunately, once vision loss has occurred, there is currently no way to restore it. However, side effects are more common with oral medications than they are with eye drops and you should discuss the risks and benefits of your chosen treatment plan with the physician. If you don't get the hoped-for results non-surgically, it may be time to discuss surgical intervention.

In conclusion, effective and prompt treatment as soon as possible after your diagnosis of chronic open-angle glaucoma is essential to saving your vision. However, the treatments listed above are viable alternatives to surgical intervention and it will behoove you to be aware of your non-surgical treatment options when you next speak with your physician to create a care plan for