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Can Glaucoma Be Cured with Laser Surgery?

Can Glaucoma Be Cured with Laser Surgery?

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Glaucoma is a disease that affects the eyes. A clear fluid flows through the eye passages at all times, and too much pressure from the fluid can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness. Glaucoma laser treatments are simply that, treatments. Glaucoma damage is permanent and irreversible; it cannot be cured. Laser treatments for glaucoma have had great success in mitigating and slowing the effects, and it’s urgent that you begin treatments as soon as possible to decrease damage to the eye.

There are three common laser surgeries for glaucoma: Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT), Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), and Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI).

SLT treats open-angle glaucoma. The lasers for this treatment work at low levels and only treats specific cells, leaving the rest untouched. It leaves very minimal scar tissue. This procedure is safe and may be safely repeated. It is generally used when prescribed eye drop medications are not lowering the eye pressure enough, or are causing significant side effects in the patient.

ALT glaucoma laser treatments is another type of treatment for open-angle glaucoma. It opens up the fluid channels of the eyes, helping to drain out the fluid. Half of the fluid channels are treated first, and the others are treated soon after or whenever it is necessary. This prevents overcorrection and lowers the risk of increased pressure. ALT is effective in that it works in about 75% of people with the most common kind of glaucoma.

LPI works to treat narrow-angle glaucoma. The laser makes a very small hole in the outer edge of the iris, allowing it to drain the fluid. The eye is usually pretreated around half an hour before the procedure, with eye drops that help make the pupil small. Just before the procedure, anesthetic drops are placed to numb the surface of the eye, and a lens is then placed on the eye to perform the laser. The procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes, and some patients may experience minor pain.

These laser treatments for glaucoma help relieve intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye. The length of time IOP remains lower depends on the type of surgery received. Some people may need repeated surgeries, and in most cases, some form of medication is still needed to control and better maintain eye pressure. Receiving glaucoma laser treatments may help to lessen the amount of medication needed.

It’s important to know that any vision lost to glaucoma will not return after these treatments. There is no way to repair that damage. Laser treatments for glaucoma can help to stop further damage to the eyes. The laser eye surgery may seem scary, but it’s not. It can be done at a doctor’s office, and afterward you can simply leave. You should be able to see better afterward almost immediately.

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