Aging & Health A to Z
Care & Treatment
While there is no cure for glaucoma, ongoing treatment that lowers intraocular fluid pressure can preserve your eyesight.
For open-angle glaucoma, your eye specialist will usually prescribe special eye drops first. These eye drops, which must be used regularly, either increase the drainage of intraocular fluid or decrease production of the fluid. Your healthcare provider may change your prescription or prescribe more than one medication if necessary. Sometimes the optometrist or ophthalmologist will prescribe pills to lower intraocular pressure. Some of these medications may cause side effects in older adults, particularly in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Always tell your healthcare provider if you think you are having side effects from medications. Surgery or laser surgery may also be necessary to control open-angle glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma requires emergency treatment to reduce intraocular pressure. Medications are usually used to lower pressure as quickly as possible. Surgery may also be necessary.
Updated: November 2016
Posted: March 2012