Is Glaucoma curable?

Glaucoma is a chronic disease caused by the progressive destruction of the fibers of the optic nerve under the influence of various factors, the most common of which is the abnormal rise in intraocular pressure. It affects about 1% of the population over 40 and is the second leading cause of blindness in developed countries, after age-related macular degeneration.

Causes and risk factors

The number one risk factor for glaucoma is aging. Other risk factors are a family history of glaucoma, African (open-angle glaucoma) or Asian (narrow-angle glaucoma) ancestry.

It is important to know the risk factors and to consult an ophthalmologist if you are at risk. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment help decrease the overall incidence of glaucoma.


Glaucoma remains completely asymptomatic for most of its course. No pain, redness, or loss of visual acuity appears. Only the systematic control of the intraocular pressure during an ophthalmological examination can alert and lead to carrying out the examinations which will make it possible to make the diagnosis between a simple ocular hypertonia and glaucoma.

Treatments: how to treat glaucoma

Too much pressure from the aqueous humor gradually destroys the optic nerve, starting at the periphery. The treatment of glaucoma consists either in reducing the production of this aqueous humor (by drugs or ultrasound), or in increasing its elimination by drugs or by carrying out a trabeculoplasty (widening of the iridwocorneal angle) by laser or surgery. Medical treatment must be continued “for life”in order to stabilize the disease. There are different types of eye drops aimed at reducing intraocular pressure either by reducing the secretion of aqueous humor like beta-blockers or by increasing its elimination like prostaglandin analogues. If these eye drops do not stabilize the intraocular pressure or if they because too many side effects, such as allergic manifestations, reinforced laser treatment, carried out on an outpatient basis, may be proposed. If eye drops and laser fail, surgery may be advised.

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