Understanding Vision Problems -- Treatment
What Are the Treatments for Vision Problems? continued...
For retinal detachment, some cases can be corrected with laser surgery, which has a high rate of success. If the peeling or tearing of the retina is more advanced, more extensive corrective surgery may be necessary.
Treating glaucoma usually includes using a series of eye drops over time to keep the disease under control. In glaucoma, fluid in the eye fails to drain properly, causing pressure to build up. Laser surgery for this form of the disease, called chronic open-angle glaucoma, has been available since 1979, but ophthalmologists generally use it as an alternative or addition to drug therapy, not as the first line of treatment.
There is no single, surefire remedy for glaucoma. Much remains to be learned about this disease. Glaucoma therapies evolve and change continuously. One long-term study, however, indicates that treating people with laser surgery first works just as well, if not better, to keep glaucoma in check. But medication in the form of eye drops is still the primary and most common treatment of COAG.
Because the disease can strike people at any age and there is no cure, treatment for glaucoma may need to continue for several decades. Although some researchers express concern that the laser's effects may last only three to five years before the eyes need to be treated again, drugs may become less effective over time as well.
While people just diagnosed with glaucoma may be reluctant to try surgery first, there are good reasons to consider it. Some patients with heart problems or asthma may not be able to take topical beta-blockers, a commonly used glaucoma drugs, and drug treatment can cost upwards of $100 a month for some medications, so surgery may be cheaper in the long run.