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Glaucoma Center

Glaucoma Treatment Options

Treatment for glaucoma ranges from medical therapy to laser treatment to surgery. The goal of therapy is to lower the intraocular pressure and to maintain the health of the optic nerve.

 

Most glaucoma patients are controlled with topical medication, eye drops that are applied once or twice daily. Although most drops are well-tolerated, as with any medication there can be possible side effects or allergy. If you experience any adverse effect while taking glaucoma medication, it is important to discuss this with your physician. Compliance, or the regular application of glaucoma drops, is vital to the success of your glaucoma therapy.

Often laser treatment is used in addition to medical therapy. The laser therapy for Open Angle Glaucoma is called laser trabeculoplasty or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). In this treatment, laser energy is delivered to the drainage system of the eye, the trabecular meshwork. This treatment is extremely safe and is well-tolerated by patients. The SLT technique is very gentle, and studies show that it does not damage the tissue of the drainage system. It is performed at our Surgery and Laser Center, Surgisite Boston. The treatment takes only minutes to apply, and there is usually no discomfort felt by the patient. Following the laser treatment, one usually continues any existing glaucoma drops. After several weeks one returns to measure the intraocular pressure and to assess the success of the procedure.

If medical and laser therapy are not sufficient in treating the glaucoma, surgery can be performed. The most common type of glaucoma surgery is the Trabeculectomy. In this procedure, a small area of the drainage system, the trabecular meshwork is removed. A flap is made in the wall of the eye, the sclera, through which the fluid from within the eye can pass, decreasing the pressure within the eye. The fluid flows through the scleral flap into a space underneath the conjunctiva, and this space is called a bleb.

A second type of surgery is called a Tube Shunt, or Glaucoma Drainage Device. In this procedure, a small tube is placed through the sclera, or the wall of the eye, into the anterior chamber of the eye. Similar to the Trabeculectomy, excess fluid is able to pass out of the eye and collects in a reservoir, the bleb, underneath the conjunctiva. With both types of glaucoma surgery, frequent visits are required in follow-up care to monitor the intraocular pressure and the healing of the eye. There is often mild irritation due to the manipulation of the eye tissue and also due to sutures on the surface of the eye. With time, these symptoms improve.

There are several newer glaucoma procedures such as trabectome and canaloplasty, however the long-term efficacy of these has not been shown, and it is not clear what place these procedures have in the decision tree of glaucoma treatment.

Leading Multi-Specialty Eye Care

Most of our physicians have sub-specialty fellowship training in pediatric ophthalmology, glaucoma, retinal disease and surgery, oculoplastics and cosmetics, and corneal and refractive surgery.

Leading Multi-Specialty Eye Care

Premium Lens Implant Technology

With the latest advances, having clear vision at only one distance is no longer the only option.

Premium Lens Implant Technology

Cutting-Edge Glaucoma Treatment

Lexington Eye Associates has the most advanced diagnostic tools available to help to determine whether or not a patient has glaucoma, to assess the type of glaucoma that is present, and also to monitor the disease over time. 

Cutting-Edge Glaucoma Treatment

Advances in Macular Degeneration

We offer patients in Massachusetts the most advanced diagnostic equipment. Our fellowship trained retina specialists are skilled in the state-of-the-art treatments that are preventing vision loss.

Advances in Macular Degeneration

The Latest in Corneal Transplants

Advanced technology now allow for minimally invasive surgery by targeting disease and performing partial thickness transplantation, such as DSAEK surgery.

The Latest in Corneal Transplants

Current Therapy for Lazy Eye

Our pediatric ophthalmologists are the most highly skilled specialists in Massachusetts for treatment of Lazy Eye, Amblyopia and other related eye disorders.

Current Therapy for Lazy Eye