What Are Glaucoma Laser Treatments?

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Glaucoma laser treatments use a cold laser to reduce the intraoccular pressure that builds up in an eye affected with glaucoma. The treatment helps to lower the eye pressure for a majority of people but does not work for everyone. Successful treatments typically lasts from 1 to 5 years.

Glaucoma is a disease during which the fluid in one or both eyes is unable to drain properly. The build-up increases the pressure inside the eye and, if left untreated, causes a permanent loss of vision.

A laser with a significantly low heat absorption (cold laser) is applied to the tissue that makes up the drainage canals for the affected eye. The laser causes a chemical change in the tissue that helps it to drain more efficiently.

Laser treatments carry the potential for developing eye irritations and altered vision. The majority of individuals who elect to have the treatment do not experience significant amounts of pain but sometimes experience eye irritation. The irritation is temporary and typically resolves itself within a matter of days.

Altered and blurry vision is a more common side-effect associated with the laser treatment. Blurred vision usually clears within two days of treatment. In extreme cases, individuals experience a loss of vision that can be either temporary or permanent. Additionally, glaucoma laser treatments carry an increased risk for developing cataracts later on.