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Glaucoma is an issue that impacts over 2.7 million people who are over the age of 40 in the US. It’s a terrible disease that starts to affect the strength and pressure of your eyes. It will eventually lead to blindness if left untreated.
If you or someone you love is dealing with chronic glaucoma, there’s hope. There are plenty of treatments out there that can help maintain your eye pressure and retain your remaining vision. One of these treatments is glaucoma surgery.
But is glaucoma surgery right for everyone? Keep reading to learn more about this treatment option and whether or not it might be for you.
What Is Glaucoma?
We mentioned before that glaucoma is a chronic disease that leads to blindness. But what exactly is it?
It’s a disease that causes your optic nerve, the nerve at the back of your eye, to deteriorate over time. It’s typically caused by a buildup of fluid at the front of the eye, increasing the eye’s pressure.
What Is Glaucoma Surgery?
There are two major types of glaucoma surgery: laser surgery and incisional surgery.
Laser Glaucoma Surgery
During laser surgery for glaucoma, doctors use a very powerful, focused beam of laser light to treat the drainage system of the eye. This will lessen the pressure on the eye and, in turn, the optic nerve.
This surgery is minimally invasive and can be repeated if the drainage issues return later on. There’s no recovery time, no stitches, and no cutting.
For the most part, this is the type of surgery that doctors will recommend because it’s less invasive. However, if your eye has enormous pressure, or your optic nerve is already very badly damaged, the doctor might recommend incisional surgery.
Incisional Glaucoma Surgery
There are two main types of incisional glaucoma surgeries. The first is what is known as minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, or MIGS surgery.
During this procedure, a doctor places a device in the eye to allow it to drain. It’s a fast procedure and doesn’t take long to recover from.
In a traditional glaucoma surgery, people with advanced glaucoma will have to talk to their doctor about whether or not the risks are worth the potential outcome. They’re very safe and very effective, but they’re involved and the risk of complication is much higher.
In a traditional glaucoma surgery, a surgeon will put a tiny cut in the eye to make a new drain for the fluid that is causing the pressure. Then the surgeon will place a shunt in the eye that will allow for fluid to continue to drain.
These practices will require stitches and take some time to recover from. But, this procedure is better for people with a more advanced stage of glaucoma.
Is Glaucoma Surgery Right for You?
In order to know whether or not glaucoma surgery is the right treatment option for you or your loved one, it’s important that you visit an eye doctor who can look at your specific case. If you have a lot of fluid build up, traditional surgery might not be for you.
But the good news is that there are plenty of other surgery options out there to ensure that you get the right treatment.
If you think you need to talk to a doctor about your vision, schedule an appointment today.