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Adult Glaucoma Suspect (cont.)

Medical Treatment

The decision to treat a person who is glaucoma suspect and at high risk is highly individualized. You may be treated with medications or just observed. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the pros and cons of medical treatment versus observation with you.

  • Even with such risk factors as a suspicious looking optic nerve, an optic nerve defect, or a family history of glaucoma, you may only be observed.

  • Your situation and risk factors are carefully evaluated to determine the likelihood of glaucomatous damage and to evaluate the necessity and effectiveness of medical treatment.

  • In general, most ophthalmologists medically treat those with IOP of greater than 30 mm Hg because of the high risk of optic nerve damage.

If you are glaucoma suspect and at high risk, your ophthalmologist may decide to treat you with one or more medicated eyedrops, which have been shown to be beneficial in lowering IOP. By using a pressure-lowering medication, subsequent damage due to glaucoma may be delayed or even prevented. See Medications.

In determining an appropriate medicine, your ophthalmologist considers the drug’s adverse effects and frequency of use, along with your ocular and medical histories. Animal data suggest that the glaucoma medicines Alphagan, Xalatan, and Betoptic may play a role in improving the blood supply to the optic nerve.

If, upon examination, progression to glaucoma is seen along with optic nerve damage and/or reproducible visual field defects, your ophthalmologist will start medical treatment immediately, which would include medicated eyedrops and possibly surgery.

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