Open Angle Glaucoma

PATHOLOGY

The aqueous humor is a transparent liquid that has the function of feeding the cornea and the lens and to drain out any waste products; in a healthy eye, it is produced continuously inside the anterior chamber of the eye by the cells of the non pigmented epithelium of the ciliary body, and is constantly drained – at the same speed at which it is produced – through an ocular structure called corneo-scleral trabecular meshwork and other anatomical structures. Thanks to a correct functioning of this physiological mechanism, the IOP maintains in a healthy eye rather constant values comprised between 14 and 21 mmHg.

TREATMENT

Open angle glaucoma is usually treated with a pharmacological therapy. If this does not work or is not sufficient to prevent the damage to the optic nerve, there is the possibility to choose between two possible painless laser procedures referred to as argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) or selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). Those patients who do not respond positively to this laser treatment must be submitted to surgery referred to as trabeculectomy. If the therapy does not make it possible to obtain a lowering of the intraocular pressure such as to ensure the maintenance of the visual functionality over time, the use must be evaluated of drainage valves or a surgery that destroys in part the ciliary body (cryotherapy or laser cyclophotocoagulation).

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