Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is an eye disease which if not treated on time can result in total loss of eyesight. Laser surgery for glaucoma is one of the best options to treat glaucoma diseases. Read on to get detailed information about its types and procedure.
A fluid is secreted by the eye ball to facilitate proper lubrication to the eye. This is secreted from the canal which is present in between the iris and the cornea. When this canal is blocked there is a fluid build up inside the eye. This develops pressure and damages the optical nerves. To prevent the optical nerves from damaging, laser surgery is considered to be the best option.
There are two types of glaucoma namely open angle or primary and narrow angle or angle closure. These two types are based on their point of blockage. The open angle or primary glaucoma is caused due to the blockage of the canal from further inside. This is a very commonly found glaucoma. The second type is known as narrow closure or angle closure and is rarely found. In this type the blockage is formed on the connecting point of the iris and the cornea. Some of the glaucoma symptoms in case of angle closure are nausea, headache, eyes pain etc.
Laser Surgery Options for Glaucoma
There are three types of laser surgery for treating glaucoma. All these surgeries can be conducted at the doctor’s clinic or in the hospital. The surgeries are of approximately 10-20 minutes and their recovery time is also comparatively very low. Following are the types of laser surgeries.
- Iridotomy: It is used in closed angle (acute) glaucoma. Closed angle glaucoma is associated with the blockage present at the iris and cornea joint. A laser beam is focused on the iris which makes a small hole. This hole forms a way for the fluid to drain from the eye.
- Trabeculoplasty: This is used in open angle or primary congenital glaucoma. In this glaucoma, blockage is found in the inner side of the canal. Hence the tissues from the trabecular meshwork are burnt with the help of laser. By this the pressure is released and the fluid is drained out of the eye.
- Cyclophotocoagulation: This treatment can be considered as the last option as it is for the patient who are unable to get relief from the other surgeries or medications. In this treatment the ciliary tissues are burnt with the help of a laser which decreases the secretion of fluid in the eye. Some patients may have to undergo more than one sitting in this treatment.
Side Effects of Laser Surgery
Although laser eye surgery for glaucoma is safe, there are some side effects too. Following are some of them.
- Chronic eye pain is rare in laser surgery but the surgery may lead to eye irritation. This side effect is only experienced for 1-2 days.
- Accelerated heartbeat is also a side effect of glaucoma. Usually it gets normal after sometime but if it still persists then contact a doctor immediately.
- Patient may also experience blurred vision. This lasts for 1 to 2 days from the day of the surgery. But in rare cases it may cause temporary or permanent loss of eyesight. The patient who have undergone laser surgery is also at a risk of getting cataract.
Although the risk of complications is very low, it may take place in some patients. The complications can be managed with the help of glaucoma medication. So, if you are diagnosed with glaucoma then you should consult the doctor immediately. If your doctor advises you to undergo a laser surgery then don’t worry at all as it is very safe and effective. Get it treated as soon as possible as the surgery can cure your eyesight from further damage but cannot get it back once it’s gone.