Glaucoma eye diseases may cause permanent vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is characterized by more intraocular pressure (IOP), which can injure the optic nerve and cause vision loss. Glaucoma is often called the silent thief of vision because, in its early stages, it usually progresses slowly and without noticeable symptoms. Frequent eye exams are essential for early detection, as they can detect elevated IOP and signs of optic nerve damage.
Early diagnosis is essential for effective glaucoma treatment. If caught early, treatment options can help prevent further vision loss. The ability to do daily tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces can be severely affected.
Glaucoma treatment aims to reduce IOP, a significant risk factor for optic nerve damage. There are several treatment options available, including:
- Eye drops. They reduce the production of aqueous humor or increase its drainage. Consistent and correct use of these drops can help reduce IOP and slow the progression of the disease.
- Oral medications. Sometimes, oral IOP-lowering medications may be prescribed when eye drops are ineffective or not tolerated.
- Laser therapy. Laser procedures, such as trabeculoplasty and iridotomy, can improve aqueous humor drainage and lower IOP. These treatments are often recommended when eye drops and oral medications are not enough.
- Surgical interventions. Surgical options such as trabeculectomy and shunt implantation are considered when other treatment options fail to control IOP. Glaucoma surgery in albuquerque creates new pathways for the outflow of intraocular fluid, effectively lowering IOP.
Skipping medications or not consulting your doctor can lead to uncontrolled IOP, disease progression, and irreversible vision loss. Proper glaucoma treatment allows patients to maintain independence and perform daily activities without significant limitations. They can continue to drive safely, read, recognize faces, and enjoy hobbies and social interaction. It allows people to remain active in the labor market, reducing the social costs associated with disability and dependency.
In cases where glaucoma has caused significant vision loss, vision rehabilitation services can help people adjust to their new circumstances. These services include orientation and mobility training, assistive technology, and adaptation strategies for daily living. Although rehabilitation cannot restore lost vision, it allows people to maximize their remaining vision and regain independence.
Adherence to treatment and regular follow-up with healthcare providers is critical for successful management. In addition to individual benefits, glaucoma treatment has broader societal implications by reducing the economic burden of blindness and visual impairment. It allows affected people to remain active in the labor market and contributes to a healthier and more productive society.