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Ophthalmology (Eye Diseases)
The damage caused by glaucoma can't be reversed. But treatment and regular checkups can help slow or prevent vision loss, especially if you catch the disease in its early stages.
Glaucoma is treated by lowering your eye pressure (intraocular pressure). Depending on your situation, your options may include prescription eyedrops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of any of these.
- Laser therapy
Laser trabeculoplasty (truh-BEK-u-low-plas-tee) is an option if you have open-angle glaucoma. It's done in your doctor's office. Your doctor uses a small laser beam to open clogged channels in the trabecular meshwork. It may take a few weeks before the full effect of this procedure becomes apparent.
- Filtering surgery
With a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy (truh-bek-u-LEK-tuh-me), your surgeon creates an opening in the white of the eye (sclera) and removes part of the trabecular meshwork.
- Drainage tubes
In this procedure, your eye surgeon inserts a small tube shunt in your eye to drain away excess fluid to lower your eye pressure.
- Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery
Your doctor may suggest a minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, or MIGS, procedure to lower your eye pressure. These procedures generally require less immediate postoperative care and have less risk than trabeculectomy or installing a drainage device. They are often combined with cataract surgery. There are a number of techniques available, and your provider will discuss which procedure may be right for you.
After your procedure, you'll need to see your doctor for follow-up exams. And you may eventually need to undergo additional procedures if your eye pressure begins to rise or other changes occur in your eye.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.