There are many types of treatment for elevated eye pressure, surgical and non-surgical. One of the most successful forms of treatment over the long term is trabeculectomy surgery. This incisional form of surgery boasts a high success rate with rare instances of complications—all while helping reduce your eye pressure.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that increases eye pressure and can result in vision loss. Trabeculectomy works by creating an incision in the eye for fluid to drain and be absorbed back into the blood vessels. Other types of glaucoma treatments are also available, including eye drops, oral medications, and other forms of incisional surgery.
How Trabeculectomy Helps With High Eye Pressure
Trabeculectomy is a form of eye surgery designed to treat glaucoma. It was developed to create new pathways that allow fluid to drain out of the eye, resulting in reduced eye pressure. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning that it is performed in an operating room and does not require an overnight stay. This means you can recover comfortably at home.
During a trabeculectomy, a flap is created in the sclera (the white part of your eye) underneath your upper eyelid. Your surgeon uses this flap to create a pathway where excess fluid is allowed to drain from the eye and reduce pressure inside of it. Once created, the flap is loosely placed back down so it and the conjunctiva (the outermost covering of the eye) can protect it.
This surgical process creates a small blister of fluid known as a bleb on the surface of the eye but beneath the eyelid. Rather than cause excess tearing, the blister actually absorbs the fluid into the blood vessels. This allows your eye pressure to be reduced naturally. Thanks to being located under your upper eyelid, the blister is hidden and prevents any unwanted attention.
It’s important to note that undergoing a trabeculectomy procedure won’t restore any vision that is lost due to glaucoma. Instead, its purpose is to aid in protecting what vision you still have. Trabeculectomy along with other treatments and lifestyle changes can help preserve your vision and help you live your life to the fullest.
Other Forms of Glaucoma Treatment in Knoxville, TN
Trabeculectomy isn’t the only form of glaucoma surgery in Knoxville, TN. Our Knoxville eye surgeons have multiple treatments at their disposal to help preserve your vision from the effects of the disease.
- Eye drops
- Oral medications
Eye drops are usually your eye doctor’s first line of defense against the effects of glaucoma. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce your eye pressure, and these special eye drops do exactly that. They can help improve fluid drainage from your eyes or reduce the amount of fluid that your body produces. These eye drops are not available over the counter and will require a prescription.
The most frequently prescribed glaucoma eye drops include:
- Alpha-adrenergic agonists
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
- Rho kinase inhibitors
Sometimes eye drops aren’t enough to reduce your glaucoma symptoms. If that’s the case, then your eye doctor may prescribe oral medications. Make sure to take your medications as prescribed to keep your glaucoma from progressing. Certain side effects may occur with these medications, so be sure to discuss what to expect with your doctor beforehand.
Along with trabeculectomy, there are multiple types of eye surgery available for glaucoma treatment. Laser surgery (laser trabeculoplasty) is often the first type to be tried. From there, your eye doctor may recommend:
- Incisional surgery such as trabeculectomy
- Drainage tube surgery
- Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)
The best surgical option for you will vary based on your unique needs. For instance, laser surgery isn’t permanent and you may still need medication. MIGS has different types of procedures that your doctor may recommend. More invasive forms of surgery such as incision and drainage tube surgery can offer better results but require longer recovery times.
To learn more about different glaucoma treatment options, click here!
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged by high pressure. Vision loss due to glaucoma is irreversible and can go unnoticed for years. When healthy, watery liquid (aqueous humor) continuously flows through your eyes. Sometimes this process can be disrupted by the pathways becoming clogged and leading to an increase in eye pressure (intraocular pressure).
Click here to take a deeper dive into glaucoma, its different types, and its risk factors!
Signs & Symptoms
Glaucoma can have few if any symptoms in its early stages. This is especially true for primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease. The peripheral vision is often reduced or lost first in glaucoma. Cases that go untreated can result in the loss of your central vision which allows you to read, drive, and perform most daily tasks.
Other forms of glaucoma may present symptoms. If you have a less common form of glaucoma, you may experience:
- Eye pain
- Head pain
- Hazy vision
Comprehensive Eye Exams in Knoxville, TN
Comprehensive eye exams are an essential part of your eye and overall health. They allow our surgeons to view the inner structures of your eyes and catch vision problems as well as other health issues that could be developing, such as diabetes, before they become major issues. This allows us to provide you with the treatment you need as soon as possible to protect every aspect of your health.
Are you concerned about your eye pressure? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
Trabeculectomy reduces eye pressure by making an incision in the eye for fluid to drain and be reabsorbed by the blood vessels. Other forms of incisional surgery are also available, as well as prescription eye drops and oral medications. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes increased pressure within the eye, gradually damaging the optic nerve and stealing your sight.
Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN. Give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.