Glaucoma is a painful disease that places pressure on the optic nerve in the eye. If this pressure continues to increase, then vision loss and blindness can occur. The goal of every form of glaucoma treatment is to release the pressure placed on the optic nerve. While this can be achieved using a variety of treatment methods, laser has been proven to be the most successful option.
There are multiple laser procedures that can be used to treat your glaucoma. The procedure used will ultimately be determined by the form and severity of your condition. Your eye will be numbed before the surgery to ensure that you feel no discomfort. A special lens is used to get a better look at the eye, which will allow the doctor to pinpoint the exact spot on the eye to point the laser during the procedure.
Selective laser trabeculoplasty is used to treat primary open-angle glaucoma. The laser is set to work at a low level during this type of procedure to selectively treat specific cells on the eye. This will leave the healthy eye cells untreated and intact.
Laser can also be used to open up the eye’s fluid channels, which will relieve some of the pressure on the optic nerve by letting the eye’s drainage system work more efficiently. Only half of the fluid channels can be treated during the procedure to reduce the risk of eye damage. If your symptoms are not relieved after half of the fluid channels are treated, then you will undergo the procedure again.
Laser may be used to make a small hole in the iris, which will help promote fluid drainage. Once the fluid is able to drain from the iris, the inner eye pressure causing the glaucoma should be eliminated.
You will be allowed to go home immediately after your laser surgery, but you will need to have a friend or family member drive you home. It is safe to resume your normal activities the day after the procedure.
While glaucoma laser surgery will have long-lasting benefits, it is entirely possible for the eye pressure to return at some point in the future. If your painful symptoms return, then you can get another laser procedure to remove them. Regularly taking your glaucoma medication will reduce the chances of this happening.