"We try to keep it simple," he said, "but if one eye drop doesn't work, we'll add another for a synergistic effect."
If eye drops aren't effective, the next step is usually laser treatment. If those treatments don't work, then surgery to implant more effective drainage tubes can be done.
What's important to know is that these treatments can be effective at preventing vision loss -- but if you've already lost vision, they can't get it back.
"We can prevent but not reverse vision loss," Harmon said.
He also said that regular exercise -- 20 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week -- can help lower eye pressure. "The healthier your body is, the healthier your eyes are," he noted. Just be sure to clear any exercise program with your doctor first because some types of exercise can raise eye pressure.
The bottom line, to Fromer, is that you can't prevent the development of glaucoma but you can protect your sight.
"If you're gonna get glaucoma, you're gonna get glaucoma," he said. "But you don't have to lose your vision. It can be protected with appropriate medications."
The Glaucoma Foundation has more on glaucoma.
A companion article looks at one man's story of living with glaucoma after being diagnosed as a teenager.
SOURCES: Gregory Harmon, M.D., ophthalmologist, New York City, and chairman, Glaucoma Foundation; Mark Fromer, M.D., ophthalmologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, and director, eye surgery, New York Rangers, and medical director, Fromer Eye Centers, New York City
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