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Treating Glaucoma

Glaucoma damage is permanent. The goal of any treatment is to prevent further damage and loss of vision. This is done by lowering the eye pressure with medicine and surgery to help stop further damage. To treat glaucoma, your ophthalmologist may use one or more of the following treatments.


Glaucoma is often controlled with eyedrop medicine. Used every day, these eye drops lower eye pressure. Some do this by reducing the amount of aqueous fluid the eye makes. Others reduce pressure by helping fluid flow better through the drainage angle.

Glaucoma medications can help you keep your vision, but they may also produce side effects. Some eye drops may cause:

All medications can have side effects. Some drugs can cause problems when taken with other medications. It is important to give your doctor a list of every medicine you take regularly. Be sure to talk with your ophthalmologist if you think you may have side effects from glaucoma medicine.

Never change or stop taking your glaucoma medications without talking to your ophthalmologist. If you are about to run out of your medication, ask your ophthalmologist if you should have your prescription refilled.

Eye drops are effective treatment in most people with glaucoma. However, in certain cases, they may not be adequate to lower the pressure inside the eye. Additionally, some people cannot use eye drops because they are allergic or intolerant. In other cases, a hand tremor or another medical condition may prevent the use of eye drops. Remembering to take the medications can also be a drawback because many people forget to take them. The cost of eye drops may also be prohibitive to some people. In these cases, laser or surgery may be better treatment options.