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Medical care for glaucoma

How to treat glaucoma?

Different treatment options are offered, tailored to glaucoma type and seriousness. Some local treatments (eye drops) are preservative-free.

There are several treatment options for open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma.

Unfortunately they cannot cure glaucoma, but they can slow down symptoms and the progression of this condition by decreasing and stabilising intra-ocular pressure. Nevertheless, if visual impairment is confirmed by the diagnosis it is irreversible.
First line treatment for primacy open-angle glaucoma is the installation of eye drops. They must be instilled at the same time each day, for life, and without interruption. Intra-ocular pressure can often by lessened solely by using eye drops. 
Until now, eye drops contained preservatives to protect them from contamination after first opening. However, numerous local side effects were reported due to these preservative substances. For this reason new products were marketed, thanks to which open-angle glaucoma can now be treated with preservative-free eye drops, thus eliminating any long-term effects on eye structures.
If eye drops alone are unable to slow down the glaucoma progression of this condition, ophthalmologists can perform laser treatment in the clinic. It is sometimes necessary to introduce again with eye drops a few months or years after laser treatment.
If the glaucoma does not respond to eye drop and laser treatment, surgery may be envisaged as a last resort. This procedure will halt any further progression of glaucoma, but will not lead to recovery of lost vision.
Today, The prescribed eye drops allows most of glaucoma patients to retain functional eyesight. However, regular medical follow-up and daily treatment with eye drops are crucial for preventing glaucoma from progression.  
(1) La Revue du Praticien Médecine Générale, Volume 32, no. 998, March 2018.
(2) French Association of Qualified Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmology, Elsevier Masson, 2017.
(3) Ameli, Glaucome [online]. Available at:
(4) Inserm, Glaucome [online]. Available at: