Frequently Asked Questions
Glaucoma and its Treatments
Is there a cure?
No. Treatment is available to delay and possibly cease disease progression
How long do I use drops for?
For most patients, indefinitely. Some people will have had laser or surgery which can eliminate the need for drops.
Is Glaucoma laser for me?
Laser Trabeculoplasty is becoming increasingly accepted as a safe, effective and possibly better treatment for mild glaucoma, or used in combination with drops. You will need to discuss your case with your doctor to see if you are suitable.
Does Glaucoma laser eliminate the need to wear glasses afterwards?
No. The glaucoma laser will not make any difference to the need for glasses. The laser used for glaucoma is different to the laser used to correct your refractive error (need for glasses).
Is there a technique to instilling drops?
It does not matter how you do it, as long as you get it in. Generally we like to space a few minutes between drops if you are using multiple drops. It is recommended that you close your eyes after instilling the drops and squeeze with your finger in the corner of the eye onto the nasal bridge for two minutes to reduce systemic absorption and side effects.
What symptoms do I have with glaucoma?
Generally, none. Vision loss is painless and slow. By the time you can detect some vision loss, you have loss most of your vision. Early diagnosis is paramount and involves an eye examination with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Will I go blind with glaucoma?
It depends on the degree of damage at the time of diagnosis, your response to treatment and the rate of progression. With the appropriate testing and some period of monitoring, we can predict whether you will go blind in your lifetime. Generally speaking, most people with adequate treatment do not go blind, but maybe significantly impaired.
What are the treatment options?
We have come a long way with glaucoma in the last 2 decades. Apart from eye drops, there are several types of laser (SLT and micropulse cyclodiode), operations (trabeculectomy, valve drainage implant, and microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)) and tablets. Your doctor will discuss with you what might be best for you.