A Compact Guide On Laser Eye Surgery Procedure For Glaucoma

14 Dec 2012

Glaucoma is a medical condition of eye that refers to increased ocular pressure due to incompetent drainage of the fluids. Increased pressure can lead to compression of optic nerve behind the retina and result in permanent, partial or complete loss of eyesight. Fortunately, optometrists have discovered some advanced treatments for reinstating the normal intraocular pressure and the effective treatment methods can solve the eye problems associated with Glaucoma.

Standard treatment and management protocols of Glaucoma

Glaucoma usually develops in the late age (over 60 years); but nowadays lot of younger patients are suffering from the problem as well. As the drainage system becomes incapable of handling the fluid properly, it becomes difficult to resolve the problem at once. There are few standard treatment protocols:

  • Medicines: certain medicines are used for treating Glaucoma and hypertensive eyes. Basically, the medicines are prescribed in eye drop forms. Sometimes, doctors also prefer oral pills, tablets and capsules as well. The medicines are Prostaglandins (Travatan Z (Alcon), Beta blockers (Timolol, Pindolol), Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (Trusopt, Azopt) etc. These medicines reduce the intra-ocular pressure by influencing the amount of secretion and facilitating drainage.
  • Glaucoma surgery: Laser eye surgery procedure for Glaucoma has become the only option for an optometrist when the medicines fail to resolve the issue effectively. The procedure refers to three different techniques: Laser Trabeculoplasty (used for treating open angle glaucoma), Cyclophotocoagulation (when other non-invasive and surgical procedures fail to manage a case of glaucoma) and Laser Iridotomy (for treating angle closure glaucoma).

Laser eye surgery procedure: steps explained

  1. First a clinician recommends the anti-hypertensive agents to reduce the blood pressure and optimise the area for Laser surgery. The procedure helps the medical specialist to make the eyes numb.
  2. Once done, the patient is requested to sit in front of a slit lamp. The optician examines their eyes and rule out the type and extent of disease.
  3. Then a powerful but tiny beam of Laser light is allowed to pass into the affected eye. The light ray strikes on certain areas and creates micro-holes for facilitating drainage of the clogged fluid.
  4. Excessive fluid that was clogged inside oozes outside and thus intra-ocular pressure reduces effectively through the tiny holes.
  5. The patient suffers from blurred vision for next 48 hours. The eyes might be very itchy and swollen during this period. The condition is reinstated after 3 days of surgery.

Glaucoma laser eye surgery facts

  • A patient requires surgery only when the conservative medicines and eye exercises fail to reduce the intra-ocular pressure.
  • One might require multiple laser surgeries for controlling the hypertension comprehensively. At the same time, the patient might need to use medicines after surgery for optimising ocular pressure.
  • The outcome of laser eye surgery depends on the age of the patient, extent of Glaucoma, type of hypertension, interfering diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes etc.

Nowadays, Glaucoma isn't considered as a major cause of acquired blindness anymore. The number of treatment methods and medicines has proved effective for treating ocular-hypertensive disease like Glaucoma. If you are prone to develop (or already developed) Glaucoma, consult an expert optometrist as soon as possible.

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