Glaucoma Home > Glaucoma Treatment

Medicines, laser surgery, and traditional surgery are some of the options for treating glaucoma. While these forms of treatment may save remaining vision, they do not improve sight that has already been lost due to glaucoma. Early diagnosis is an important part of treatment.

An Introduction to Glaucoma Treatment

Once a glaucoma diagnosis has been made, immediate treatment for early stage, open angle glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. That is one reason why early diagnosis is very important.
Glaucoma treatment options include:
  • Medicines
  • Laser surgery
  • Conventional surgery.
A combination of any of these would also be beneficial. While these treatments may save remaining vision, they do not improve sight that has already been lost from glaucoma.
Your healthcare provider can describe your treatment choices and the expected results of each. You and your healthcare provider can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient and health care team.


Glaucoma medication, in the form of eye drops or pills, is the most common early treatment option for glaucoma. Some medicines cause the eye to make less fluid. Others lower pressure by helping fluid drain from the eye.


Before you begin treatment, tell your eye care professional about other medicines you may be taking. Sometimes the glaucoma drops can interfere with the way other medicines work. Glaucoma medications may need to be taken several times a day.
Most people are able to take their medication without any problems. However, some glaucoma medicines can cause headaches or other side effects. For example, drops may cause stinging, burning, and redness in the eyes.
Many drugs are available for treating glaucoma. If you have problems with one medicine, tell your eye care professional. Treatment with a different dosage or a new drug may be possible.
Because glaucoma often has no symptoms, people may be tempted to stop taking, or may forget to take, their glaucoma medicine. You need to use the drops or pills as long as they help control your eye pressure. Regular use is very important.
Make sure your eye care professional shows you how to put the drops into your eye.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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