Current management of glaucoma

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Purpose of review

This study reviews current concepts in the goals of glaucoma therapy, interventional sequence, and options for the management of glaucoma in light of recent clinical trials.

Recent findings

Recent randomized prospective trials of ocular hypertension and glaucoma have provided evidence for more specific treatment goals in glaucoma therapy. In addition, the advent of the prostaglandin analogs, advances in laser technology, and innovative techniques for filtering surgery have expanded the armamentarium that ophthalmologists use in the treatment of glaucoma.


Despite continued advances in laser and incisional surgery, medical therapy still appears to be the primary means by which intraocular pressure is controlled. Initial medical therapy has changed with the introduction of prostaglandin analogs, which are replacing β-antagonists as the drug of first choice. Laser trabeculoplasty, using either photocoagulative (argon and diode) or photodisruptive (frequency doubled Nd:YAG) lasers, is still reserved for patients who do not improve with medical therapy, although there is good evidence that initial laser trabeculoplasty is just as effective as initial medical therapy. Trabeculectomy with antifibrotic agents (5-fluorouracil or mitomycin C) is still the next step in intraocular pressure control, and glaucoma drainage implants are reserved for refractory cases. Cyclophotocoagulation is a last resort procedure because of poor visual outcomes and is reserved for patients with intractable pain and vision thought not to be useful.

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