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The management of glaucoma depends on the type, the underlying cause, and the severity of the disease. Treatment may involve medications, in the form of eye drops or oral drugs, laser procedures, or surgery.

Glaucoma can't be cured. The focus and goal of treatment is to control the disease and prevent or slow any further visual damage from occurring.

Numerous studies have shown that lowering the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) decreases the risk of glaucoma progression. Just how much to lower the pressure and exactly how to do it is different for every patient. In fact, some patients and their physicians may decide not to treat glaucoma, but instead to simply monitor for any progression. If your doctor prescribes treatment, it is important that you follow the regimen as closely as possible.

Treatment involves the following:

References:

Facts about glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Glaucoma treatment. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/glaucoma-treatment.cfm. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated June 6, 2013. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Weinreb RN, Khaw PT. Primary open-angle glaucoma. Lancet. 2004;363:1711.

What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma. Accessed July 16, 2013.

Last reviewed July 2013 by Christopher Cheyer, MD; Brian Randall, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.