New advances in medical research are helping eye doctors treat glaucoma more effectively and with fewer side effects. The key to treatment is early diagnosis. The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat, and the more likely you are to retain your vision. People over 60 years old and African-Americans are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Also, anyone with family history of glaucoma is at a higher risk. People with diabetes and those who have been taking steroid medication for a long period of time are also at increased risk.
The best treatment for glaucoma is to prevent it. A pressure check alone is insufficient to detect glaucoma. It’s important you receive an appropriate evaluation from a qualified eye doctor if you are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Medicare recently approved coverage of eye exams for those at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Although you will never be cured of glaucoma, treatment often can control it. This makes early diagnosis and treatment important to protect your sight. Most doctors use medications for newly diagnosed glaucoma; however, new research findings show that laser surgery is a safe and effective alternative.