When it comes to treating glaucoma, your doctor will typically start with a regimen of medicated eye drops to help regulate the pressure in your eyes. If the eye drops are unsuccessful or your condition progresses, you may need surgery. Surgical options include both laser and conventional surgery. The goal of the surgical procedure is to clear drainage blocks or create a new drainage outlet to relieve pressure in your eye. Here are a few surgery options to discuss with your optician.

Increasing Fluid Drainage

There are four different methods for increasing the drainage of fluid from your eyes. A trabeculectomy is a procedure in which an incision removes a small piece of tissue from the eye to create a drainage outlet. Tube-shunt procedures involve placing a tube into an incision in the eye to encourage fluid flow. The laser options for drainage include a trabeculoplasty, which burns an opening into the eye or a sclerostomy, which involves removing a small portion of the white of the eye.

Preserving Drainage Outlets

Drainage preservation involves creating a new opening in the iris to encourage fluid flow. This is often chosen as a treatment method for closed-angle glaucoma. This procedure is also encouraged for some patients with narrow drainage outlets because it can prevent the progression of closed-angle glaucoma. The procedure is called an iridectomy when it's done through traditional surgical methods and an iridotomy when it's done with a laser. In most cases, laser surgery is the preferred method, but traditional surgery may be required if you have severe glaucoma.

Reducing Fluid Production

If other medications and surgical interventions fail, the final option for glaucoma treatment involves surgical intervention to remove the ciliary body of the eye. This is the portion of the eye that produces fluid, so removing it will eliminate the fluid buildup in your eye. This is typically a last resort, though, and only considered when other treatment methods have proven unsuccessful or scar tissue has made further drainage surgery impossible.

As you can see, there are many different methods for treating glaucoma. If you've been struggling with pressure buildup in your eyes and your current medication regimen isn't helping, you should talk with your doctor about the surgical options available to you. With the information presented here, you'll be able to approach the discussion with some understanding of what each method involves and how each one helps to alleviate symptoms of glaucoma. Talk to places like Leader Heights Eye Center for more information.