What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve. It usually gets more and more severe with time. The damage is often caused by a buildup of pressure, known as intraocular pressure, in the eye. Glaucoma can result in permanent loss of vision if it goes untreated for too long, as the optic nerve continues to deteriorate.
How can it be treated?
Glaucoma can be treated with surgery in cases where medication does not work. The most common types of surgery are:
During incisional surgery, your surgeon will use a surgical tool to make a drainage hole in the eye. The hole allows the intraocular fluid to move around the blocked drainage canals. The fluid is then able to flow through the new artificial drainage pathway. There are several types of incisional surgery, including trabeculectomy, which involves partially removing the eye’s drainage system; trabeculotomy, in which incisions are made without removing any tissue; and goniotomy, which is generally performed on children and babies.
- Shunts and implants
Small devices can be inserted into the eye in order to lower pressure and increase the flow of fluid out of the eye. These shunts and implants are made from materials like silicone or metals, and work by creating a passageway for fluid to leave the eye without touching the damaged or blocked drainage canals.