High-Tech Glaucoma Treatment: How Lasers Are Used To Treat Glaucoma

glaucoma treatments

High-Tech Glaucoma Treatment: How Lasers Are Used To Treat Glaucoma

Glaucoma isn’t a one-fits-all illness and neither are its treatment options. Unfortunately, glaucoma is irreversible, but the treatment options are designed to maintain your vision and keep your vision from getting worse. Here are some of the ways lasers are being used to help treat glaucoma.

Getting started

Glaucoma is diagnosed through a variety of methods.

To help examine the extent of glaucoma’s effects on the eye, a doctor might need to perform a gonioscopy to examine the anatomy and the trabecular meshwork. This helps the doctor identify if the patient is at a higher risk for a narrow angle glaucoma attack.

Types of laser treatments available

There are three major types of laser treatment for glaucoma. Unlike LASIK eye surgery, a procedure that relies on pressure, laser eye surgeries for glaucoma are designed primarily to drain fluid and ease pressure.

Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) targets narrow-angle glaucoma. It relieves pressure by making a small hole in the iris to help the eye drain fluid properly for narrow angle only.

Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) is a type of glaucoma treatment that dilates fluid channels within the eye to help lower heightened pressures in the eye following surgery. According to some studies, this can reduce pressures following surgery nearly 75% of the time.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) uses a low-level laser that’s a little easier to manage than an ALT. The beam of the laser doesn’t need precise movements since the laser is okay to use on the entire eye. It is meant for open-angle glaucoma treatments. This leaves the trabecular mesh intact, enabling a surgeon to repeat the process if necessary.

Benefits of the Procedure

Glaucoma treatments are available in a variety of mediums; however, there are distinct benefits from laser options. There is a short recovery time following the procedure, the pressure is lowered in your eye, and it can reduce the amount of medication you need. Typically, the patient is able to resume normal tasks the next day.
If you’re suffering from unhelpful glaucoma treatments, laser eye procedures might be the next step to preventing your glaucoma from spreading. While glaucoma severity differs from person to person due to a variety of factors, everyone suffering from glaucoma can benefit from this procedure. Talk to your doctor about costs, risks, and the healing process before you undergo glaucoma treatments.

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