Congenital glaucoma almost always requires surgery to
correct the defect. Medicine may sometimes be used, but it usually does not
work over time.
If you have already experienced a significant
vision loss from glaucoma, your doctor will also conduct a
low-vision evaluation. The evaluation will help you
and your doctor find ways to make the best use of your remaining vision. It
also can include suggestions for counseling and training on dealing with
Because glaucoma can lead to a significant loss of
vision before it is detected, learning that you have glaucoma can be difficult.
You may feel saddened and become
depressed. Your doctor can refer you to counselors who
specialize in helping people adjust to living with low vision.
After you start treatment for
glaucoma, you will need regular eye exams by an
ophthalmologist. During these exams, the pressure
inside the eyes (intraocular pressure, or IOP) is usually measured. You
may need to see the doctor every day until the
target eye pressure is reached. After the target
pressure is reached, you may need to see the doctor every 3 to 6 months. The
ophthalmologist will examine your eyes for changes in the optic nerve that
indicate the disease is getting worse despite treatment and will adjust the
target eye pressure if needed.
If the pressure in the eye
continues to be high or if damage to the optic nerve gets worse despite
treatment with eyedrops, laser treatment may be done.
If you have
drainage angles, you are more likely to develop
closed-angle glaucoma. If you are diagnosed with
closed-angle glaucoma, you will need regular evaluations to check your drainage
angles and eye pressure. You may need laser treatment to prevent sudden closure
of the angle.
Medicines, usually eyedrops, are used to lower IOP
by either decreasing the amount of fluid produced by the eye or increasing the
amount of fluid that drains out of the eye. It is important to understand that
treatment for glaucoma will most likely continue for the rest of your life.
Home treatment can help you live with the effects of glaucoma.
You can use
vision aids and adaptive technologies, such as video
enlargement systems and large-print items, to help you function better with
reduced vision. You can develop a support network of people who can help you with
difficult tasks. And you can get counseling and training to help you cope with
reduced vision and maintain your quality of life.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
glaucoma usually is needed only if you continue to
lose vision and the pressure in your eyes (intraocular pressure, or IOP) cannot be lowered with medicines or laser treatment.
In some countries, such as Great Britain, surgery is done early in the disease