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What are the Different Glaucoma Remedies?

By L. Burgoon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Glaucoma remedies generally fall into three categories: medical intervention, behavioral change, and self-treatment. Used alone or in combination, these different treatments may help ease the underlying causes and the symptoms of glaucoma, which harms the optic nerve and may lead to loss of eyesight or total blindness. Some of these glaucoma remedies can help reverse vision loss, while others will only slow the disease’s progress without restoring sight. It is vital to note that there is no glaucoma cure, and any remedy will not completely eradicate the disease.

In considering glaucoma remedies, the recommended approach involves crafting a treatment plan with a doctor. Some physicians will begin patients on an eye drop regimen. Eye drops lower the intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. When the pressure on the optic nerve eases from the eye drops, the symptoms of glaucoma lessen and sight may be preserved.

Some glaucoma cases are too aggressive for eye drops, and this is when doctors will begin discussing surgical options. The less invasive laser surgery usually is the first option, and patients receive one of three types to reduce or eliminate fluid build up that causes glaucoma. Selective laser trabeculopasty creates up to 100 tiny holes to help drain fluid from the eye and relieve intraocular pressure. Peripheral iridotomy aims the laser at the iris and equalizes ocular pressure on both sides of the iris to allow eye fluid to drain normally. Laser cyclophotocoagulation excises capillaries of the eye where fluid gathers to prevent pressure from building.

If a patient is not a good candidate for laser surgery or if the laser surgeries prove ineffective, more invasive conventional operations will be considered for glaucoma remedies. Known as incision surgeries or microsurgeries, the procedures involve small cuts to the eye’s wall. This allows a new exit point for fluid, which is absorbed into the bloodstream rather than building up in the eye and causing the optic pressure that leads to glaucoma. Depending on the patient, the surgery will either slow glaucoma's effects on vision or restore lost vision.

In addition to medical interventions, some caregivers recommend behavioral changes as glaucoma remedies. Consuming liquids in smaller amounts may help prevent pressure on the optic nerve. Regular physical exercise also may avoid intraocular pressure. Other glaucoma patients have found relief in yoga and meditation exercises that promote lower blood pressure.

Some glaucoma sufferers choose home remedies to fight the disease. Bilberry supplements, for example, are thought to strengthen the eyes’ capillary walls and boost blood circulation. While it is commonly used to combat eye disorders, medical professionals warn that bilberry should not be used solely or without the advice of a physician. Discuss any dietary supplement use with a doctor to ensure that they do not interfere with other glaucoma treatments.

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